Monday, August 9, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Ah, Monday morning. A day to make up for the housework in which I lacked over the weekend. Not really, I actually just took a two day break from vacuuming the house, aside from that that, everything is pretty caught up. Last night's dinner was... delicious... and a disaster all at the same time!

I've made this before, but with less sausage, cheese, and much more sauce. The outcome? The husband complaining there was too much sauce! So, I opted to minimize the sauce, and instead of using pre-packaged frozen stuffed jumbo shells, I boiled my own and stuffed them too! Now, I'm not sure if it was shells or manicotti, but I remember my dad stuffing some type of pasta a few years ago, so I stole his stuffing trick. Ah, thanks a heap, dad! As you'll notice there will not be a completed picture of this meal because, well, although it tasted amazing, it did not look very pretty! After allowing the cheese to melt and the sauce to start bubbling inside the oven, I pulled the rack out just an inch or two to make sure the sauce in the middle was hot as well. Before I put the spoon up to my mouth there was a loud slam and a huge wave of sauce spilled all over the inside of the oven door and onto the floor. Well, my husband got his wish! There was actually the perfect amount of sauce once it was all said and done!

I was pretty lucky to have not had dinner go down my leg. Could you imagine telling the doctor why you have 3rd degree burns down your leg? 'Ahhh, it's the ricotta and pesto jumbo stuffed shells fault, ahhhhh' with loud obnoxious whines and cries? Ah, I can see it now. I quietly cleaned up the mess, sliced a few more slices of cheese to melt back on top and popped that bad boy back in the oven for an extra five minutes.

I had strategically placed that food in a certain way into my casserole dish, and this had to happen. I mean, how am I supposed to deliver delicious goodness to my blogger babies when I'm spilling things on the floor. First, I forget to capture the panko breaded pork chop goodness, and now, I spill dinner onto my feet. What is this kitchen coming to?! Well, I'll get to explaining, and stop this complaining. You might want to note that... that rhymed. Don't you love when that happens?

1/2 box jumbo shells
1 c. ricotta cheese
3 mild Italian sausage links
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese (sliced)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbl. pesto
1/2 jar pasta sauce (I used chunky garlic and onion)

Mix 1 cup ricotta cheese and 2 tbl. pesto together. Place mixture in a Ziploc baggie and cut a corner of the bag off. It should be similar to a pipping bag for frosting.

Boil shells in one pot and sausage links in another. Once noodles are *almost* done, remove from heat, and drain.

Take shells and stuff with filling.

Pour 1/2 jar pasta sauce into casserole dish,sprinkle 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese on top of sauce, place shells into the sauce. Slice your sausage links and place on top of your shells followed by the sliced mozzarella. I sliced mine about a 1/4 in. thick. I could have shredded but I figured I'd save time, and use my handy dandy cheese slicer for the first time! Anyways, bake for 25 minutes at 375F. Try not to spill it, but hey, it's good either way!

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