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Stuffed Shells June 10, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Pasta — lindsayrose @ 3:27 am

Tonight’s dinner was made last night, which made it perfect for a night that we were getting home late.  It was also perfect seeing as though Ross has been working on building a fence in our yard all week, so I was able to get all of the other stuff done without feeling too overwhelmed and having to cook, too (ok, well, I still felt overwhelmed all night, but I shouldn’t have!).

Last night, I boiled a box of jumbo shells.  While they were boiling, I sauteed a clove of garlic and about 1/2 onion, diced, in some olive oil.  I added a pound of ground beef and let it brown until cooked through.  I then drained the meat and set it aside. 

Meanwhile, I mixed together a medium sized container of cottage cheese and about 1/2 cup of sour cream.  I’ve used cottage cheese before in baked ziti, but never in stuffed shells.  The cottage cheese/sour cream combo was very tasty.  And I HATE cottage cheese.  Anything with the name curds in it just should not be edible to me.  But I actually really like it baked in Italian meals instead of ricotta.  Adding the sour cream to it made it a little thicker, a little creamier and just a tad richer, while still tasting a little lighter.  Along with the cottage cheese and sour cream I added 1 egg and about a teaspoon of dried basil and a teaspoon of oregano as well as some salt and pepper.  I mixed in a cup of mozzarella cheese and a little Parmesan.  The meat mixture was added to the cheese mixture and all was stirred well. 

I coated the bottom of a 9×13 dish with sauce, stuffed each shell with the cheese mixture and set them down, seam side up, in the pan.  I poured the remainder of the jar of sauce over the shells, sprinkled another cup of mozzarella on top and sprinkled with Parm, salt and pepper.  Last night I just covered it and put it in the fridge.  Tonight when I got home, all I had to do was preheat the oven to 350, uncover it and bake it for about 35-40 minutes (probably only 30 or so if you weren’t just taking it out of the fridge).

We both loved it made this way!  I think this will be my new standard for stuffed shells.  Although, I realized as I was eating them that I forgot to add a dash of nutmeg to the cheese mixture, which my aunt always did and I love that.  I will be sure not to forget it next time, it definitely adds a nice, subtle flavor.  We had our shells with some garlic bread and green beans.


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