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Faith's Firm Foundation: Food Friday: Recipe for Jumbo Stuffed Shells

Friday, March 11, 2011

Food Friday: Recipe for Jumbo Stuffed Shells

Welcome to Food Friday!  I have been remiss in not welcoming you in the past!  I apologize!
Kelsey and Phoebe
So, welcome!  I hope you enjoy this weekly feature on my blog!  And check out all the photos below from that fun day of cooking!

Today, I'm sharing a good hearty main dish recipe, Jumbo Stuffed Shells, that is really pretty easy, and doesn't take very much time to prepare, especially if you have ground beef cooked up in your freezer (a good habit to get into).  We made this recently when we visited friends to cook with their girls and leave a meal for this family with a newborn baby.  Remember the Food Friday where I posted 4 recipes including Pesto Chicken, Popovers, and Chocolate Peanut Grahams?  Make sure you check out that post! That was another fun day.  I love cooking with girls--it's so much fun!
They really enjoyed stuffing the shells, and getting their hands dirty to mix up the filling.
We made one dish for their family and gave them more shells, and one dish for ours.  Doubling this recipe is super simple, and then you've got another meal made.  This recipe is another from Holly Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC Freezer Friendly Meals Cookbook;Go to the link to see another great recipe from that book: Greek Chicken.

One tip:  Make your sauce first, because otherwise you'll end up waiting for the sauce to cook!  We stuffed the shells, but then had to move them to the side to add the sauce--backwards!  But it worked.  Also, rinse your pasta with cold water after it's cooked.  This will prevent the shells from sticking together, and you won't burn your fingers trying to work with them.  
Phoebe and Dezi:
I Love working together with girls in the Kitchen!
Recipe for Jumbo Stuffed Shells
Serves: 6-8 servings
1 (12 oz) package jumbo shells
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (or any kind of bread crumbs and add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning)
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato Sauce (your own, from a jar, or from the recipe which follows)
1 (8 oz) pkg part-skim Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Tomato Sauce:

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a non-stick skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray, sauté the onion until tender.  Add garlic, tomato juice, tomato paste, sugar, and season with salt and pepper; simmer 10 minutes.

Cook pasta shells according to directions on package, omitting oil and salt; drain and set aside.
In a non-stick skillet, cook the ground beef until done;  drain any excess fat.
Add egg whites, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, oregano, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour half the Tomato Sauce (see recipe) in a 2-quart baking dish.  Stuff shells with filling.  Arrange stuffed shells in baking dish and cover with remaining sauce.
To Prepare and Eat Now:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and continue baking for 10 minutes longer.
A really fun day!
To Freeze:
Do not bake before freezing.  Cool to room temperature, then wrap, label, and freeze.  Recommended freezing time:  up to 3 months.

To Prepare After Freezing:
Remove from freezer to defrost.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until heated.  Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and continue baking for 10 minutes longer.

Nutritional information per serving:  Calories 402, Protein (g) 33, Carbohydrate (g) 45, Fat (g) 10, Calories from Fat (%) 22, Saturated Fat (g) 5, Dietary Fiber (g) 3, Cholesterol (mg) 65, Sodium (mg) 667, Diabetic Exchanges: 3.5 lean meat, 2.5 starch, 1.5 vegetable
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