Introduction: Stuffed Meat and Cheese Jumbo Shells
This is a favorite of my family. With home made tomato sauce and garlic bread its a real hit!
This is also one of my fill the freezer meals, I make two boxes and freeze the other for future fast dinners!
Step 1: The Sauce
Large 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes, I crush tomatoes up into pieces while adding to sauce!
1 small can tomato paste
8 oz water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large green bell pepper, small diced
1/2 yellow onion, small diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons each of dried Basil, Thyme,and Oregano
1 Tablespoon Granulated garlic
2 teaspoon white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Place olive oil in sauce pan and over medium heat. Add diced onion and green pepper, cook till soft but not brown. Add the minced garlic and cook minute more. Now add the tomato paste and dried seasoning and cook stirring often for about 2 more mins. Last add the water and tomatoes. Stir well and simmer for 30 mins stirring occasionally Turn off and let sit till ready to use..
Step 2: The Shells and Filling
Prepare shell till almost cooked they say cut time but 2 mins. they need to be soft but not over cooked!
Drain them and left cool.
For the filling:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef ( I use 90/10 in this recipe), Browned, drained and cooled
While browning meat remember to always season with some salt and pepper even some granulated garlic too!
7 1/2 oz Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese small curd
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 medium eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup each mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
PREHEAT OVEN TO 365 degrees F
Mix the meat and rest of ingredients in a large bowl, Salt and pepper to taste. set aside and set up a stuffing station with the sauce, shells, and meat filling.
In a glass cooking dish place sauce in the bottom coating well with about third of the sauce to coat bottom of dish.
Take a shell and fill it with 2 tablespoons of meat filling , then place in dish on sauce. Repeat this method till you reach the end of your shells. Last place the rest of the sauce over tops of all shells to cover them.Top with grated Parmesan cheese and the mozzarella.
Step 3: Bake and Make Some Garlic Bread!
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes till cheese is melted.
1 french loaf of bread, cut into 1/2 inch bias slices
1 stick Unsalted butter soften at room temperature
2 cloves Minced garlic
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon Dried parsley
Mix butter and next 3 ingredients together in small bowl. Spread each top of bread with butter mixture. and place on sheet pan. Toast in oven till desired crispness. I like mine toasted but still soft
Can also make a small toss salad and complete the meal!
Step 4: To Freeze
Freeze only the shells that are already stuffed.
I place the extra filled shells on sheet pan and place the on top of my deep freeze to freeze for few hours. Then place frozen ones in a freezer bag for a fast easy future dinner!!
Then just make sauce and cook!