Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Stuffed Shells

Now THAT'S what I call a frozen or TV dinner! Stuffed shells in a wine tomato sauce. Not only is it delicious, but this dinner was on my table in 20 minutes last night. Before school started I made a big batch of stuffed shells and froze all but one portion of them for easy school night dinners. And it worked out beautifully. These taste just as good out of the freezer as they do fresh!
I will admit, they certainly are not photogenic, but isn't taste what really matters? These babies have the taste down, but looks...well the first time I made them I was afraid they would taste horrible because the look is less than grand. I think the reason they look different is because I used ground chicken instead of beef and chicken is a much lighter color. It tasted just great, but maybe next time I would use ground turkey, just for appearances sake.
Also, you will note that I used regular size pasta shells, not jumbo shells. I did this because my tiny, city grocery store does not sell the jumbo shells and I was far too lazy to travel to get them. But, that being said, I think I will use the normal shells again, just because I love pasta and this upped the pasta to filler proportions. If you don't have time or want more meat to your pasta, bump it back up to jumbo shells, but whenever I have time I will certainly keep making it with these small ones
I am submitting this recipe to Monthly Blog Patrol: Sauces for the great tomato red wine sauce that you pour over top. I would gladly use it on any pasta!

Stuffed Shells (adapted from Blog Chef)
Ingredients:
1lb ground chicken (or perhaps turkey)
1 large onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 (8oz) bag shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
1 egg (beaten)
1 (26 oz) jar of spaghetti sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 box large pasta shells (I used the large, not the jumbo)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup dry red wine

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Cook shells according to package directions. Meanwhile in a pan brown ground chicken, garlic and onion. Drain off any excess fat and let cool. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Combine chicken, mozzarella cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Mix spaghetti and tomato sauce in a medium bowl and pour 1/4 of it into the bottom of a 13×9 inch oven safe dish (I used about 5 "grilling pans" to make individual portions)
Step 4: Stuff the cooked and drained pasta shells with the meat mixture and place on top of the sauce in the pan. Add red wine to the remaining sauce, mix well, and pour over the top of the shells. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Step 5: Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Note: If you are freezing, stop after step 4, wrap in 2 layers of aluminum foil, put in a ziploc freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. When ready to use, defrost in fridge the night before, then bake as directed.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Love the use of wine in sauce..something that I need to try!