The boys and I love anything Italian, and while I usually make lasagna when I need a recipe for lots of people, I decided to make stuffed pasta shells last night instead. The ingredients are basically the same, but it gives a fun presentation when I use the shells.
This recipe is one I just “throw together” without a recipe, so the amounts given are just an estimate. Feel free to vary the spice amounts to your family’s tastes. I ended up with 34 stuffed jumbo pasta shells. I almost didn’t get a picture of them either – the boys and their friend simply devoured them.
Jumbo Stuffed Shells
1 package jumbo pasta shells
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage
1 small container ricotta cheese or small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
One jar good marinara sauce (or use homemade)
Cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Set aside.
In a skillet, brown the ground beef and Italian sausage until no longer pink. Drain.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, chopped spinach and spices. Add the drained, browned ground meats. Stir until well combined.
Stuff the meat and cheese mixture into each pasta shell. Place in a greased 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce evenly over the pasta shells. Bake in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling in the shells.