These Italian Baked Stuffed Shells pack so much flavor, it’s kind of ridiculous.
This is Italian cuisine at its best. Just make and enjoy.
Italian Baked Stuffed Shells
- 16 jumbo shells dried
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup celery chopped
- 12 chicken Italian sausage casing removed
- 1 small green bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 tbsp flat-leafed parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 oz fresh Ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup plus a couple tablespoons of grated Romano cheese
- 2 1/2 oz smoked mozzarella cheese chopped
- 2 1/2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese chopped
- 3 cups or marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter chopped
- In a pot of boiling lightly salted water set over high heat, cook the pasta shells for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Drain and rinse under cool running water.
- Transfer the drained shells to bowl, toss them with a teaspoon of olive oil, and refrigerate them until they are needed.
- In a large saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.
- When the oil is nice and hot, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for about 20 seconds.
- Add the celery, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, or until the celery is tender.
- Add the chicken sausage and the green peppers and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the parsley and basil and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a bowl.
- Mix the ricotta with the egg until it is smooth.
- Add 1/2 cup cup of the grated Romano cheese, the mozzarella, and salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F
- Spread about 2 cups of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a shallow casserole.
- Take the shells, sausage mixture, and cheese mixture out of the refrigerator. Carefully fold in the cheese mixture into the sausage mixture.
- Using a teaspoon, fill the shells with as much stuffing as you can, about 1/4 cup.
- Place the shells, stuffed side up, on the sauce.
- Ladle the remaining cup of sauce over the shells.
- Sprinkle the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the grated Romano cheese and dot with butter.
- Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake the shells for about 12 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the tops of the shells are slightly browned.
- Serve the shell with remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese on the side.