Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Sausage and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

These shells were tasty and only got better as leftovers.  It is really easy to assemble and great that you can make it beforehand and pop it in the oven before dinner.  I chose to use spicy sausage, but you can supplement with any kind of sausage you prefer.  I made a simple side salad and served the Herbed Skillet Bread as well.  We don't typically go out to eat Italian food, this was one of those dishes that reminded me why....it came from our kitchen. Delicious.  Enjoy!

Sausage and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

  • 1 (12oz.) box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 3 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb. sausage
  • 1/2 tspn. kosher salt, plus 1/2 tspn.
  • 1/2 tspn. ground pepper, plus 1/2 tspn.
  • 1 15 oz. can artichokes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce (below)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
Arrabbiata Sauce
  • 2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 6 oz. sliced pancetta, chopped
  • 3 tspns. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tspn. oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups of tomato sauce

-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the sausage, 1/2 tspn. salt, 1/2 tspn. pepper and continue to cook until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through.  Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

-In a large bowl, combine the cooled sausage mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley and remaining salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.  

-Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute.  Add the tomato sauce, red pepper flakes and oregano and bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and let cool until ready to use.

-To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9x13x2 baking dish with 1 cup of the sauce.  Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of sausage mixture, about 2 Tbl.  Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish.  Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full.  Drizzle the remaining sauce over the shells, top with grated mozzarella.  Bake at 400 degrees until the shells are warmed through and the cheese browns, about 60 minutes. Enjoy!


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