Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Italian Stuffed Shells

Remember these?! They were in the Woods Cross Cookbook. One of the first dishes I ever mastered. Easy and always delicious. I took a lot of photos because I have a new lens and cute helpers.


1 12-oz. box Jumbo Shells

1 lb. Italian sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)

8 oz. cream cheese (softened a little)

8 oz. sour cream

2 c. grated cheese (mozzarella should be one of the cheeses, but you can use any combination beyond that)

1 jar pasta sauce (I used Newman's Own Sockarooni this time)

If you have this kind of helper, you'll also need a second box of Jumbo Shells. (Poor Colin! He took the box off the counter not knowing it was open. I always buy two of everything, so I had another box of shells in the pantry.) He just saw this picture and said, "Sorry, Mom." :)


Boil the shells (about half the box, 18 to 22 shells) in salted water for 8 minutes (the directions say 10 minutes, but I like them a little more firm before putting them in the oven). Drain the shells and rinse with cold water. Set aside. 

Cook the sausage, drain.

In a mixing bowl, combined softened cream cheese, sour cream, sausage, and grated cheeses. Use a hand mixer to mix them all together.
Line the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish with a couple of spoonfuls of pasta sauce.
Fill the pasta shells with a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese mixture.
Place the filled shells in the prepared baking dish.
Cover the filled shells with remaining pasta sauce and a few handfuls of cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered. Enjoy watching ALL your kids eat this. Miraculous.

We like to have this kind of dish with some easy garlic toast. I get the mini Italian bread loaves from Costco (any artisan bread will work), slice them up, spread garlic and herb butter on them, and broil in the oven for three minutes. I get the garlic and herb butter from Costco too. It comes in tubs like the spreadable margarine.