Stuffed Shells with Italian Sausage and Ricotta

By Lisa Skinner

                I am absolutely a pasta lover! Italian food is the way to my heart! What can I say? I love anything with cheese smothered in sauce. My mom and dad were always making the best meals. My mom’s specialty was lasagna. But this recipe is not the lasagna I grew up with. This is one that I normally have when I go to friends and families houses. Seems to be a traditional meal in pretty much every house I have been honored to eat at! So, let’s get this Italian pasta fest going so we can fill our bellies.

This recipe is great with a side of Garlic Bread and a huge green salad.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 package (16 ounces) Italian Sweet Ground Sausage
  • 1 box (12.5 ounces) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jars (24 ounces, each) marinara sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Directions

1. In a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat, until pork is no longer pink; drain.

2. In a Dutch oven, cook pasta shells according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water.

3. Using a pastry brush, coat sides and bottom of a 3-quart baking dish with oil.

4. Pour half of the marinara sauce into baking dish.

5. In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta cheese, 2-½ cups of mozzarella, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, basil, pepper, and prepared sausage.

6. Stuff shells with meat mixture; arrange in baking dish.

7. Pour remaining marinara sauce over shells.

8. Cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

9. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

10. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

11. Sprinkle with parsley.

12. Serve.

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