13 November 2011

Stuffed Shells

I haven't blogged in forever it seems. *sigh* I am going to TRY to get back into the swing of blogging regularly again.

I made these shells a couple weeks ago and I only took a photo of the finished product, so I'm posting this recipe/method by memory. It's not like I measure anything anyway, so measurements wouldn't matter much.

2 lbs ground turkey
1 lb ground beef
5 oz, divided in half, shredded Parmesan cheese (I PREFER grated...just don't buy that shelf stable crap. It's not cheese. Get it in the deli or grate it yourself)
seasoned bread crumbs (make them yourself, buy them, whatever)
3 cloves garlic, minced...or 1 tbsp garlic paste
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup of chopped mushrooms, minced
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 lb jumbo shells (1 box)
2 qts of your favorite pasta sauce (canned works great for this....home made is fine if you have the energy to make it or have some frozen)

Start off by filling a large pot of water to boil. Salt it, and add the jumbo shells when it comes to a boil. Boil for 1-2 mins shy of 'done' because you are going to bake these as well. Drain when cooked.

Add a tablespoon or two of oil to the bottom of a heavy skillet and add the garlic, mushrooms and onion, and cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Then add the ground turkey and ground beef, mixing them together thoroughly as they brown. When the meat mixture is cooked through, add the egg, half the parmesan cheese, and 2 cups of the pasta sauce. Add the bread crumbs a handful at a time until the mixture comes together to a consistency similar to a meatloaf mixture. I also typically pick through all of the cooked shells and chop up any torn ones and add them to the filling.

Pour 1-2 cups of the pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Take a teaspoon and gently fill each shell and set it into the baking dish as close as you can get them. Repeat until the pan is full. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells in the pan and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan cheese and a light dusting of the bread crumbs. Bake at 400ish degrees for about half an hour, or until the cheese is melted and the filling is heated through.

Note: If the pan fills up before you use all of your shells and filling, fill the shells anyway and flash freeze them and store in a Ziploc bag in the freezer till next time.

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