Stuffed Shells – First Post! (Dinner 9/17/2017)

  • Stuffed Shells (by Samantha/Patrick)

  • Garlic Bread (by Louis/Brandy)

  • Grilled Romaine and Avocado Salad (by Allison)

Hello! This is our first post of the Atlanta Dinner Club, and if you notice the date, we’re working through a backlog of our weekly deliciousness but will soon be posting regularly every week. As I type this, my stomach is grumbling in anticipation of Mushroom Bourguignon this evening – but we’ll save that for a different post!

Here is our Stuffed Shells recipe:

(adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/4-cheese-stuffed-shells-recipe.html website)

1 box of Barilla large shells
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 head garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp dried thyme
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
2 medium-sized Japanese eggplants, cubed
1 pkg. cream cheese, cubed
48 oz bottled Arrabbiata or other spicy tomato sauce
32 oz container of whole milk ricotta cheese
5 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
1.5 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
Additional part-skim mozzarella cheese for topping in the oven

To make the shells:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil with some salt added.
  2. Add shells to boiling water and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain well, mix with a bit of olive oil, and allow to cool before stuffing.

To make the tomato sauce:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot.
  2. Add chopped garlic and onions and cook until onions are just translucent.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine: granulated garlic, garlic salt, onion powder, basil, oregano, and thyme. Add this spice mixture to the translucent onion mixture and stir well to combine.
  4. Add cubed eggplant and mix.
  5. Add sausage and break apart the meat into bite-sized pieces or smaller as it cooks in the pot. Stir until the meat is almost cooked through.
  6. Add the cream cheese and allow to heat and melt into the meat and onion mixture.
  7. Add Arrabbiata or other spicy tomato sauce and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  8. Turn off the heat and stir in chopped fresh basil.

To make the cheese mixture:

  1. Mix thoroughly together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, basil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and ensure proper incorporation of all ingredients.
  2. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if necessary (ricotta usually needs quite a bit of seasoning).

To make baked stuffed shells in ramekins:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Spray edges of the ramekin with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Fill 3 cooked shells with ~1 tsp (regular little spoon) of cheese mixture and place them in the ramekin.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of sauce on top of the shells.
  5. Add part-skim mozzarella cheese as a topping on top of the sauce.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Be careful! It will be hot!

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