Lasagna Stuffed Shells
Yup. You read that right. Scott (my lover) prides himself on being the human equivalent of Garfield the Cat. Lazy, sarcastic, and lovin’ lasagna. (I think Garfield is his spirit animal…).
This means that lasagna has become a staple in our household, and I’ve gotten very creative with mixing things up. Sick of plain old lasagna every week, I started trying out different kinds of layering and types of pasta. Scott’s favorite (by far!) has been the stuffed shells. While I’m not a big fan of lasagna to begin with, he loves how the shells capture all of the grease and flavors and yummy cheese inside themselves. Check out the recipe below!
1 box jumbo shells
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (Scott and I like MEAT. I normally throw in twelve–YES, TWELVE–Italian sausages!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
4-5 large tomatoes, chopped OR 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (UNdrained)
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese (divided)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (divided)
**I try to use as many fresh, organic ingredients as I can. Grabbing tomatoes, garlic, onions, fresh herbs, and local cheeses at the Farmers’ Market really makes a huge difference in the flavor of your food!
- In a large skillet over medium high heat brown the beef (ground) and sausage (cut into 1/2 inch pieces). Drain grease. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Add tomato sauce and tomato paste to the pan and stir well. Add diced tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Meanwhile, cook the jumbo pasta shells according to package instructions, until al-dente. Drain from water and lay out on a large dish to cool, so that they don’t stick together. A lot of similar recipes suggest using paper towels, but mine always seem to stick to the pasta too much.
- Add the ricotta cheese, egg, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese to a large mixing bowl and mix well to combine.
- Add meat mixture to the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Pour 1/2 of the tomato sauce mixture into the bowl with the ricotta. Stir to combine.
- Spoon some of the leftover tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9×13” pan. Stuff each cooked shell to the brim with the ricotta/tomato mixture and set them face up in the pan. I just try to fit as many as I can onto the pan.
- Spoon the remaining red sauce over the top of all of the stuffed shells. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes, allowing the cheese on top to crisp and brown.