Sunday, May 20, 2012

Italian Sausage and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

Before today's recipe, I had never made stuffed shells.  Yes, this week we had a lot of pasta....and artichokes! Yesterday's Spaghetti used marinated artichokes, this recipe uses canned artichoke hearts.  We had two leftover sausage that I wanted to use up, and this recipe only needed two sausage....perfect! I knew the kids wouldn't eat the artichokes so I made them some ravioli but again, gave them the each 1/2 of a stuffed shell to try.  I ended up using jarred spaghetti sauce (something that I rarely use).  Overall, this dish was tasty, but a bit time consuming.  Definitely not a quick week night meal!

Italian Sausage and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
recipe slightly adapted from The Captivating Life

1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce, divided
1/2 a box of Jumbo pasta shells
2 spicy Italian sausages, finely chopped
2 canned artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced
Penzys Pasta Sprinkle
Olive oil
1 1/2 cups of ricotta cheese
1 egg
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a large baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta shells until they are al dente. Drain and set aside. Put the tomato sauce in a saucepan and heat through.

Fry the garlic, Italian sausage and artichoke hearts in olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle Penzys Pasta Sprinkle, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook until the sausage is browned and then drain the fat.

Mix the ricotta and egg together until it is smooth. Add some salt and pepper and a ladleful of tomato sauce and mix well. Add the sausage mixture to the ricotta and combine everything together well.

Put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the greased baking dish. Stuff the shells with a couple of tablespoons of the filling and set them on the tomato sauce in the baking dish.

Cover the shells with the remaining tomato sauce and then sprinkle them with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is nicely browned.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up!

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