Tonight, I made one of our favorite, super easy Italian dishes for some friends. (I feel certain I must be part Italian, by the way….I LOVE to cook this style of food & could seriously have pasta and bread everyday- not to mention the wine! Reason #143 why I run.) Anyways, she asked me for the recipe after dinner, so I thought I’d just write a blog post & share it with all of you as well.
This recipe has been in our family for years – I remember my mom making it when I was young and our family loving it. I believe she got this yummy recipe from my Aunt Debbie who lives in New Hampshire. Sort of a twist on normal lasagna. One of those meals that is so easy, not many ingredients, but looks like you spent a long time in the kitchen preparing it! It’s simply called Stuffed Shells.
1 pound hamburger meat
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 carton of Ricotta cheese
2 bags of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box of large pasta shells
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
pinch of Italian seasonings
garlic, salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta shells for 5-7 minutes until al dente. Drain, set aside and allow to cool.
Brown hamburger meat with onion and bell pepper. Add salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Drain and add Ricotta cheese and 1 bag of mozzarella cheese and stir together.
Pour half of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Stuff each shell with the meat/cheese mixture and line up in the dish. Top stuffed shells with remaining spaghetti sauce and other bag of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Italian seasonings over the top.
Bake at 350 with foil on for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until bubbly and slightly brown on top. Remove and cool for about 10 minutes before serving. I like to serve bruschetta bread as a side to this meal.