Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Yummy Stuffed Shells Recipe

More awesome recipes from me! So today I decided to make a tray of Stuffed Shells! Total time to prepare (prep & cook) 1 1/2 hours.

Here's the recipe:

1 package of ground beef
1 package of fresh asparagus
1 package of fresh mushrooms
1 red onion
1 box of jumbo shell pasta
1 container of ricotta cheese
2 packages of shredded mozzarella
fresh mozzarella (optional)
1/4 tspn basil
1/4 tspn oregano
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn pepper
1/4 tspn garlic powder (or 2 fresh cloves of garlic)
1/4 tspn Goya Adobo
1 package Goya "Beef Bullion"
2 jars of Tomato Basil sauce (from Ragu)
Olive Oil

This recipe is done in three stages...listed  below:

*The Veggies:
1. Cut up the onions and mushrooms and store in a separate container.
2. Rinse the asparagus and trim the ends. Combine with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic and saute over medium heat until asparagus is tender.  (The salt, pepper and garlic powder used in this step is just to taste - not in reference to the 1/4 tspn sizes listed in the ingredients list)
3. Cut the asparagus into small pieces and store with the onions and mushrooms.

The Beef & Pasta:
1. Combine all of the 1/4 tspn ingredients and beef bullion with the raw ground beef and mix thoroughly. Brown in a skillet until the juices run clear.
2. While the beef is browning, heat the shells  and cook until al dente. (if you cook the shells too long, they'll be too soft to handle in the next step & might even fall apart - which will really suck! ^_^)
3. Once the shells are soft (yet still firm), remove from heat and drain. Let them sit under cool running water to keep the shells from sticking & to cool them down so you can handle them in the next step.

Stuffing the Shells!:
1. In a big bowl combine the veggies, cooked beef, the entire tub of ricotta cheese and half a bag of the shredded mozarella. Mix thoroughly.While you're at this step, preheat your oven to 425F.
2. In a 12x9 pan, spread a base of the tomato sauce to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
3. Begin stuffing a tablespoon of mixture into each shell and place on top of the tomato sauce in the pan.
4. Once all of the shells are stuffed, (note! I used an entire box of shells, and only ended up not using 5 of them) put another layer of tomato sauce to completely cover the shells. If you like your pasta extra saucy, feel free to add as much sauce as you please. I bought 2 jars to be safe and ended up using 1 1/2 jars of sauce.
**The shells can be visible, but none of them should look dry like no sauce has touched them.**
5. Take the remaining shredded cheese from the first package and sprinkle a layer over the shells. Again, if you like a lot of cheese, feel free to use the 2nd package.
6. If you opted to also use fresh mozzarella, place pieces of mozzarella at random over the top of the shells. You don't need a lot - unless you're really going for a super cheesy experience!
**if you used a disposable pan like I did, make sure you place the pan on a cookie sheet to give it support**
7. Place the pan of stuffed shells in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. 5 shells should be a good serving amount! Serve with garlic bread and a little parmesan cheese...enjoy!

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