Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I love stuffed shells..so much easier to stuff than a manicotti or cannelloni noodle. You can stuff them with just about anything. In this recipe you could substitute chicken or beef for the sausage and it calls for spinach and you all know I don't like spinach. I use finely diced or shredded zucchini instead. As always try what you like!!!!


4 tbl olive oil
3/4 lb Italian sausage meat (no casings)
4 large shallots chopped
4 tbl minced garlic
1 large eggplant chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
crushed red pepper
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup spinach (thawed and drained well) or shredded zucchini
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 pkg large shells (about 18-20)
28 oz can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped basil
4 oz grated fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a saucepan heat 2 tbl olive oil. Add sausage saute until cooked through. Add half the shallots and the eggplant (If using zucchini instead of spinach add it here). Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until the vegetables are soft. Add half the garlic and cook one minute. Remove pan from heat and let cool.

Add mascarpone cheese, spinach and half the parmesan cheese to the cooled vegetable mixture. Cook shells according to package directions but not quite el dente. They will cook more in the oven. Drain and pat dry. Grease a 13 X 9 pan. Stuff shells with vegetable mix and place in the pan like the picture above.

For the sauce, heat remaining olive oil in a pan. Add the rest of the shallots and cook until soft. Add the rest of the garlic. Stir in tomatoes and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Add the heavy cream and reduce the sauce by about 1/3 - about 20-30 minutes. Add basil to the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the shells and sprinkle them with parmesan and fontina cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 15 more minutes until bubbly and the cheese and sauce are light golden brown. Let is rest for 10 minutes and serve.

A nice garden salad and some crusty bread - PERFECT!!!!


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