4 cups of homemade marinara sauce (check out previous recipe) or use your favorite brand
1 box of jumbo shells
1 container of ricotta cheese
1 cup of grated aged romano or parmesan cheese
1 lb of ground beef, or italian sausage cut in cubes
chopped parsley, about one cup
salt and pepper to taste ( I add red pepper flakes)
Mozzarella cheese for topping
Cook the jumbo shells according to the directions on the box but only for about 10 minutes. Brown the ground beef or italian sausage or both and drain on paper towels. The shells need to be somewhat under cooked as they need to be firm and slightly pliable to fill and close. Drain and cool while you mix the cheese filling.
Mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan/romano cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Now you are ready to stuff the big shells. Using a tablespoon fill the jumbo shells just enough that you can close them.
Preheat over to 350 degrees
In a baking dish, spread marinara sauce on the bottom of the dish and then line your filled shells in the dish. Cover with marinara sauce . Cover with the mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven for a slow bake about 45 minutes until the mozzarella cheese browns.
Serve this dish with a nice salad. My idea of the perfect salad with this is chopped romaine, grape tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion and your favorite italian dressing. My favorite easy dressing is the juice from a whole lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper. Use your favorite bottle of italian dressing because that also works!
There are variations to this recipe and I change it up often. Instead of using the ground beef, you can use italian sausage or you can mix both ground beef and italian sausage.
Frozen spinach is a nice addition to this cheese mixture. Thaw, drain, and squeeze out the excess water in the spinach and then add to the cheese mixture.
Another variation: vegetarian
In the oven, roast cubed red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, red onion until the vegetables are slightly softened. Let them cool and add to the cheese mixture. Add the drained spinach and stuff the shells.
All cheese filling: Add nothing but the cheese mixture and stuff the shells.
Yum, Yum, Yum; can't wait to try and think I might try with he spinach mixed with the cheese. Diane, this is wonderful and can't wait to try it.
Lemon Pudding Cakes
Serving Size: 6
1/4 cup (1/2-stick) Butter, melted (if access to it, use European-style butter)
4 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest*
6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
*2 medium lemons are needed for zest and juice.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Use approximately 1 Tablespoon of the melted butter to brush the inside of six, 8-ounce ramekins; set aside. (Let the remaining butter cool slightly.)
In a large bowl, beat together butter, egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt: add alternately with the milk to the egg mixture.
In a separate large bowl, beat egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold egg whites into lemon mixture.
Pour batter into the prepared ramekins and set the ramekins in a large baking dish. Pour hot water into the baking dish to a level about halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Serve the cakes warm or chilled. Garnish with berries or a dusting of powdered sugar.
Linda, thank you for the recipe! Yum Yum is right!