Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage

How could any meal go wrong with ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, and Italian sausage? It’s just not possible. This is definitely a hearty Italian meal that I could gladly eat over and over.

Everything that went into this meal were leftover-ed ingredients from previous meals, so I was pretty happy about “recycling.” But let’s say I wanted to make this meal with an empty fridge, well then that would probably set me back… $14, plus those pantry essentials.

Ingredients for 2, plus leftover lunch for 1:

  • 12-16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can tomato sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
  • Fresh basil, parsley, thyme or combo, chopped
  • 1 egg

In a large pan (with a lid), add some olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook the onions, garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes for a few minutes. Add the sausage and cook until done. Add the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Add at the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs and allow to boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for extra flavorings.

Boil water for pasta shells. Cook for 12 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the cheeses, fresh herbs, pepper, and egg. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour half of the tomato sauce into a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.  Then fill each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Place the shells open-side down into the baking sheet. When all the shells are filled or there’s no more room in the pan, pour the rest of the sauce over the filled shells.

Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle more mozzarella cheese into the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before digging in.


Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 7:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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