Shells with Italian Sausage and Ricotta Stuffing
A Top 10 Recipe. This is a terrific recipe in need of little modification. It's already in the top 10 of our favorite recipes. We add a couple large finely diced garlic cloves and about 1/3 cup finely diced onion to the sausage while cooking. Also a dash or two of white wine in the bottom of the baking pan does't hurt. My wife and I just love this and the leftovers microwave well. Do yourself a favor and make it and you'll come back for more. — 1BigBearAlaska
- 1 box (12.5 ounce) jumbo shells, cooked al dente
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 package JOHNSONVILLE® Mild or Sweet Italian Ground Sausage, or links
- 2 jars (25 ounces) marinara sauce, or 5 to 6 cups of your favorite sauce
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tub (15 ounce) ricotta cheese, whole or part skim
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a 10 inch skillet, cook sausage on medium heat, crumbling it into small pieces as it cooks. Allow it to cook through, then set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Using a pastry brush, coat the sides and bottom of a 15 x 10 x 2 inch baking dish with olive oil. Pour half the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish, set aside.
- In a large bowl beat the egg, mix in the ricotta, 2 1/2 cups of mozzarella, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, basil, ground pepper and the cooked sausage.
- Fill each cooked shell with the sausage mixture and nestle them in sauce. Once all the shells are filled, top them with the remaining sauce, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Bake covered until bubbly, about 45 minutes.
- Uncover and continue cooking about 5 more minutes.
- Let stand 5 minutes, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.