Sunday, April 15, 2012

Italian Sausage and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

I realized the other day that I had a half a box of jumbo pasta shells that had been sitting around for a while, so I thought I should use them up. The first time I made stuffed shells, I used ground turkey (and unfortunately they came out a little dry for my taste), but this time I decided to use some spicy Italian sausage, which I love. We are currently obsessed with using ricotta in our pasta (it started when I made baked ziti) so the love affair continued with this dish. I also added some artichokes to give the shells a bit more taste and texture. They turned out really great - I'll definitely make them again!

  • 1 large can of tomato sauce, divided
  • Jumbo pasta shells (I used half a box, which was a little under 20 shells)
  • 2 spicy Italian sausages, casings removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • Italian herb mix
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a large baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta shells until they are al dente. Drain and set aside. Put the tomato sauce in a saucepan and heat through.

Fry the garlic, Italian sausage and artichoke hearts in olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in some Italian herb mix and salt and pepper for extra flavour. Cook until the sausage is browned and then drain the fat.

Mix the ricotta and egg together until it is smooth. Add some salt and pepper and a ladleful of tomato sauce and mix well. You can skip that if you prefer your shells to be a bit creamier, but I like the taste of the tomato sauce mixed in with the ricotta. Add the sausage mixture to the ricotta and combine everything together well.

Put a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the greased baking dish. You don't have to use a lot - a thin layer is good enough just to keep the shells from sticking to the bottom of the dish. Stuff the shells with a couple of tablespoons of the filling and set them on the tomato sauce in the baking dish.

Cover the shells with the remaining tomato sauce and then sprinkle them with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely browned. Keep an eye on them because any part of the shells that aren't covered by sauce might harden up or burn.



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  1. I've never done anything like this - I like the idea of the artichoke and ricotta. Might have to get me some pasta shells!!

    Poots xxx

  2. This sounds really yummy. I can't wait to try this combination.

  3. We love your variation of this dish! Thanks so much for sharing - see you back next week!

  4. These look lovely! Thanks for linking to Scrumptious Sunday. Can't wait to see what you share next week.


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