Stuffed Pasta Shells with Just a Little Attitude
1/2 of a 12 oz. pkg. of Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 c. part-skim Ricotta Cheese
1 egg - beaten
2 T. Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t. nutmeg
dash of pepper
2. c. prepared spaghetti sauce *
1 lb. Italian Sausage - I prefer garlic sausage
2 cloves of garlic crushed or 1 t. garlic powder
Non-stick Cooking Spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook pasta as directed on package - almost. Slightly under cook it because it will also be baked. Drain, and let stand in a bowl of COLD water to make it firmer and easier to work with.
In a bowl mix together: ricotta, egg, 2 T parmesan, nutmeg and pepper.
Fill each shell with about 1 T of ricotta mixture. Place stuffed shells in a 9 X 13 oven safe dish prepared with non-stick spray.
Brown sliced sausage in a skillet, add crushed garlic cook until sausage is nearly done, add spaghetti sauce or red gravy.
Pour sauce over the stuffed pasta.
Top with remaining parmesan.
Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly.
Serves 4, but is easily doubled.
Serve with a tossed salad and breadsticks or garlic bread.
- I prefer to make Italian Red Gravy and use it instead of the prepared sauce, it tastes so much better and I can spice it up as much as I want to.
Basic Italian Red Gravy
1-28oz. can of crushed tomato, stewed tomato or puree
1-6oz. can of tomato paste
2-3 cloves of garlic (or more)
Basil, parsley, oregano, salt,
pepper to taste
1/4 cup of red table wine (more or less)
- Crush garlic with the side of a knife and mince.
(I use a garlic press).
- Add olive oil to a sauce pot turned on to medium-low heat. Add garlic and gently sauté.
- (Savor the aroma of the cooked garlic!) Lightly cook garlic until it starts to change color.
- Don’t overcook, as the garlic will be bitter if left to long.
- Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and wine. Add spices to taste.
- Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer. Stir occasionally as the mixture cooks
- If you wish, add more minced garlic or spices like: onion, Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, parsley black pepper.