When Sip’N Dip came to visit a few weeks ago I made stuffed shells. I knew she ate them at home so it was a pretty safe bet to make. I was originally going to make manicotti, but after seeing I didn’t have any of the manicotti noodles I used what I had on hand… shells. It’s such a simple recipe and just so comforting. I call it part Sandra Lee Semi Homemade since I use jarred spaghetti sauce. Don’t judge…
1 lb. lamb (or if you must, hamburger)
1 onion, chopped small
2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. minced garli
1 tbsp. sugar
salt to taste
1 package large shells
1 16 oz. container ricotta cheese
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
In a heavy saucepan, large enough to hold the two jars of sauce, brown the lamb. Remove from pan and drain. In that same pan, add about 1 tbsp. olive oil and the chopped onion. Let it cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan. Add the rest of the “sauce” ingredients listed under sauce and let it cook over low for about an hour. It should reduce and become rich in color. Taste, add extra seasoning if needed.
Cook the shells, but do not cook all the way. You want them to be workable, but not cooked so they will fall apart, VERY al dente. While the shells are cooking make the filling. Put all the “filling” ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Once the shells are at a workable tenderness drain and let cool until you can handle them. Once cooled enough, stuff with the filling.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Put enough sauce on the bottom of a baking dish to cover completely. Place the shells on top of the sauce, then generously cover with the remaining sauce. Place in the oven and let cook for 35 minutes.