Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

about the recipe

When you need to wow your friends and family, this Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce delivers.  With tender pasta shells stuffed with ricotta and spinach and then topped off with a delicious meat sauce and covered in melted cheese, you have a mouthwatering dinner that is sure to satisfy.  These baked stuffed shells with keep them coming back for more!

INGREDIENTS

– 9 ounces jumbo pasta shells Meat Sauce – 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil – 16 ounces lean ground beef – 1 tablespoon minced garlic – 6 ounces tomato paste – 28 ounces crushed tomatoes – 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning Cheese Filling – 15 ounces ricotta cheese – 10 ounces chopped frozen spinach thawed and drained – 1 egg beaten – 2 tablespoons chopped parsley – ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese Topping – 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. – Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

– Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned. (About 5 minutes.). 

– Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

– Add the tomato paste and stir in, and then the crushed tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes, adding the reserved cooking water to adjust the consistency as desired.

– While the meat sauce is cooking, stir together the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, parsley, and parmesan in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

– Stuff the mixture into the cooked pasta shells. – Put ⅓ of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking pan.

– Arrange the stuffed shells on top of the meat sauce, and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. – Cook for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.