Stuffed Shells with 25 Minute Weekday Sauce


Now, I am going to say this is not your grandmother’s sauce that simmers all day on Sunday for family dinner. This is a simple sauce that you can make during the week if you have a bit of extra time. You can let it simmer longer if you like because the flavors will meld more and the sauce will thicken but if you don’t have the time a good 20 minute simmer will be just fine.

I made this the other night because I had a package of Italian Sausage that my daughter pulled out of the freezer so I decided to make a meat sauce. You can add meat (Italian Sausage or Ground Beef) or have it plain.

Verdict:

This week is about the simple. Shells and sauce is simple? In a way, yes. Take a good half hour to make the meal – the sauce, the shells, and then it goes in the oven. Wash the dishes while it is in the oven or play a game with the kids or make lunches for tomorrow.  It really can be “simple.”

This was the super creamy and yummy comfort food meal we all needed. Snow on the ground and half way through our school vacation we all wanted comfort food and this was perfect.

I served this with green beans and a green side salad to complete the meal.

Tip: This recipe made enough for a 13 x 9 pan and an 8×8 pan. So plan on having leftovers for lunch or cut back on the amount of pasta you make. My shells were about 3″ in length so they were fairly large.

  • Servings: ”8-10″
  • Difficulty: ”easy”
  • Print

Ingredients:

Pasta Sauce:

  • 1 large onion, rough chop
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. meat (ground beef or Italian sausage – casing removed)
  • 2 (28 oz) cans tomatoes – diced, sauce, or crushed
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • fresh basil – cut into small pieces
  • salt and black pepper

Stuffed Cheese Shells:

  • 1 (12 oz) container of jumbo shells
  • 1 (30 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Begin pasta sauce by placing a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions to pan. Cook onions to softened about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic to pan and heat for about 1-2 minutes until well fragrant. Add meat if desired and cook through. Remove any extra grease from the pan.
  2. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan and stir well. Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes until flavors have blended together.
  3. While the sauce is simmering put your shells on to boil according to package directions. Drain and separate them so you can stuff them.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Make shell filling by mixing all ingredients until well blended in a bowl. When shells have cooled enough to handle stuff each with a heaping tablespoon or two of filling. You want them a bit overfilled.
  6. Place filled shells in a 13 x 9 casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  7. Drizzle a cup or so of sauce over the shells. You want the shells to have a bit of sauce around them to not dry out as they bake.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until the shells in the center are hot in the center.
  9. Remove pan from oven and serve with extra sauce drizzled over the top if desired.

 

26 Comments Add yours

  1. Miriam says:

    Sounds similar to my Italian pasta sauce I make. Delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. syl65 says:

    Simple can be very tasty and fulfilling. Thanks for all you share, Marci!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you for your sweet words, Sylvester!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. syl65 says:

        You’re very welcome! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Like

  3. Blended Hope says:

    Yumm-this might just be my dinner tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      It was exactly what we needed the other night for comfort food. Hope you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this. I once made something similar, but I never though to use ricotta cheese. After reading this, I just realized that I have some Italian sausage in my freezer. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Hope you like it!

      Like

  5. mistimaan says:

    Looks too tasty

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you!

      Like

  6. David says:

    A timely post. I bought the Italian Family Over For Sunday Dinner Size container of ricotta cheese the other day. I have the shells and Italian sausage on hand, Thanks for the recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank you! Hope you like it!

      Like

      1. David says:

        Sunday Dinner, I think. Small Non-Italian Family, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Erika Kind says:

    That’s the perfect recipe for me. Easy to handle, quickly done, and I can even prepare it in advance! Again… I am printing it right away!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Lol! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This looks delicious, Marci.

    Like

  9. David says:

    Hi Marci! I just finally made this dish. #2 son is coming tonight and I fixed it for him. I noticed in the recipe that there was no temperature indicated at which to bake the filled shells, so I guessed 350°.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Thank You! So sorry. Yes, I will fix that now. Thanks again.

      Like

      1. David says:

        Very well received. We all had a lovely dinner. I could say so much about my Asperger’s Syndrome son, now an adult. I just forget the diagnosis and enjoy being with him.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          So glad you had a great meal together. My son and I had an interesting discussion about struggles. We all have them, some are just more out front. Not better or worse.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s