Baby O loves stuffed shells. It had been quite a while since I had made any and she was feeling deprived so I made a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce and made shells for her. First you start out with spaghetti sauce of your choice. I had fresh tomatoes from the garden so that is what I started with. Browned 2 pounds of ground beef and some Italian sausage. Added some fresh chopped bell pepper and mushrooms and sweet onions from my garden. I sauteed the vegetables in olive oil and added some fresh minced garlic. Simmered the tomatoes, meat and vegetables all down and the entire house smelled of garlic, basil and tomatoes.
Then into a large pot of salted boiling water I dropped my shells and cooked them for 11 minutes or just until el dente.. drain and rinse with cold water and lay out until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile mix your filling.
Since I didn't have any ricotta I had 2 large tubs of cottage cheese so I dumped them in a colander and rinsed the curds and drained well. Then the cottage cheese went into the food processor with a cup of Parmesan, fresh chopped basil and 2 eggs. The consistency and taste is so similar to ricotta filling Baby O couldn't tell the difference : )
Then I stuffed my cooled shells
Once the shells were stuffed I greased my casserole dishes with a little olive oil
Spread a little sauce in the bottom of each casserole
Lay your shells out on top of the sauce and ladle sauce on top.
Over the top I sprinkled Parmesan cheese and shredded Mozzarella cheese
Now label one side of a piece of aluminum foil with the contents date and any cooking instructions. On the other side of the foil spray with a little cooking spray to prevent foil from sticking to cheese.
I wrapped the foil over the top of each casserole and then placed them in large zip lock bags and used a straw to draw the air out. Now I have 3 stuffed shell dishes for 3 different nights and enough sauce left over for 2 spaghetti meals frozen in containers.
Indeed life is good in the holler!
The Canned Quilter