Y’all! I can’t even begin to explain how ambrosial, appetizing, delectable, heavenly, luscious, savory these stuffed shells were. I’m over the top right now with my description of this dish but every time I make these I swear it gets 10x better. I think it’s because out of every food dish I cook these have got to be one that I enjoy making the most. The moistness of the cheeses that just melt into your mouth. UGH! I can’t wait for you to make this at home so lets get started for what you’ll need.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (I prefer lots of garlic but adjust to your desire)
- Kosher salt
- Herbs de Provence (which is a mixture of dried herbs)
- Ground black pepper
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes broken into pieces
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 4 teaspoons tomato paste or water (if using water add two small chicken bouillon cubes)
- sugar (pref I tablespoon)
- 1 8oz cream cheese
- 1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
- Italian sausage (or any meat of your preference)
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
Note: In regards to seasonings I do not measure I eyeball and I know based off of which seasoning I use will determine how much I need. Be easy on the salt and pepper because you can always add more if it’s not enough but you cannot take away. Just a little tip. Use your desired preference.
Preparation: For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce and paste, water and sugar, and stir well. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until thickened and fragrant, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pasta shells, and cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled spoon to prevent the shells from sticking together. Drain and rinse under cold running water to suppress any further cooking of the shells.
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring, until very soft, 6-7 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Add the spinach-sausage mixture, the extra-virgin olive oil, salt, the Herbs de Provence and pepper, and stir to combine thoroughly. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the spinach-ricotta filling into each cooked pasta shell. Place the filled shells in the prepared dish OVER some of the homemade sauce (so basically before you place in the pan pour a bed of the sauce into the sauce pan and then place your stuffed shells on top).
Pour tomato sauce over the filled shells and top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, and chopped parsley or spinach. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving and ENJOY!
Please share some remixes to this stuffed shells recipe. I’ll love to hear them!