Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce

Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce
serves 8
adapted from

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Whole medium onion, chopped
5 Cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. Italian sausage
1/2 cup Red wine
(1)28 oz + (1)15 oz can Crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz. Jumbo shell pasta
30 oz. Ricotta cheese
8 oz. Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, divided
1 egg
3 tablespoons Dried basil, divided
4 tablespoons Chopped fresh parsley, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and cook for one to two minutes. Pour in cans of tomatoes and stir. Add sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons dried basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 30-45 minutes. While sauce is cooking, cook pasta shells in a separate pot for half of the suggested cooking time on box. Drain and rinse in cook water. Set aside. Still while sauce is cooking, prepare shell filling. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, mozzarella, half the Parmesan, the egg, 1 tablespoon dried basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined. To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down in the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with leftover wine.

I conquered my fear of cooking with wine! And it was definitely worth it. The wine gave the sauce a very distinct flavor. This meal was so good. It does take a lot of ingredients and time, but it's so easy! I figure you can take a huge shortcut and use bottled tomato sauce if needed, but if you have the time, go for the gold!

1 comment:

  1. I just made this tonight and I added thawed frozen spinach in the ricotta mixture. Amazing!