Stuffed Shells

SUBMITTED by Laurie Jensen, Northern Michigan

“You can use just about any pasta sauce you like with these. I’ve included the one I use.”


For Sauce:

1 pounds of sweet Italian sausage (removed from casing is links)

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic

6-8 baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

1 onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 large can crushed tomato's

1 large can petite diced tomatoes

1 (6 oz.) can of tomato paste

1 cup of water (optional depending on desired thickness of sauce)

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend

1 tablespoon dried basil

salt and pepper

For Shells:

1 box of Barillo large shells

1 (16 oz.) container Ricotta cheese (I use light)

1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese

1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan

1 teaspoon parsley

salt and pepper

1 egg beaten

1 cup of shredded mozzarella

1 fresh mozzarella ball, cut into rounds and halved


Sauce: Heat EVOO in a large Dutch oven. Add onions and mushrooms; cook 3-4 min until softened. Add sausage and continue to cook until sausage is no longer pink. Add red pepper flakes and garlic; cook until fragrant about 30 sec. Add remainder of ingredients; bring to a bubble and simmer for 2-4 hours. Stirring occasionally and leaving lid ajar for last 1/2 of cooking.

Shells: Cook shells to 3 minutes shy of directions. Mix together all remaining ingredients except the both mozzarella cheese. Fill shells using a tablespoon.

Spread enough sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish just to cover. Place shells in the dish in a single layer. Top with sauce, shredded mozzarella and fresh mozzarella slices. Can be refrigerated at this point for a day or two is needed. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered with foil and 20 min uncovered.

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