Stuffed pasta shells don’t need to be a treat just for when you go out to an Italian restaurant – they’re fun to make at home as well! This is a great recipe to make together as a family with tasks that can be handed out to everyone from mixing to chopping to stuffing. Our stuffing uses cheese, fresh herbs, and, of course, Italian sausage! Feel free to use mild or hot to your taste preference. We think the hot Italian sausage gives the recipe a bit of kick that’s very tasty. We recommend enjoying this recipe with bread for sopping up extra sauce and a glass of Italian red wine. Enjoy!
- 1 lb Leahy’s Hot Italian Sausage
- 12 oz Jumbo Pasta Shells
- 2 Egg Yolk
- 1 Egg
- 2 cup Ricotta Cheese
- 2 cup Mozzarella (grated)
- 3 oz Parmesan Cheese (finely grated)
- 2 Tbsp Parsley (chopped)
- 4 cup Marinara Sauce (homemade or store-bought 32 oz. jar)
- Basil (for garnish)
Remove the meat from the casings of the Hot Italian Sausage. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat, and once hot, add the bulk sausage. Cook until done, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while it is cooking so that is crumbles. Drain all grease and set aside in refrigerator to cool.
Cook the pasta shells in a large pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes until they are just about al dente, but still quite firm. Remove from water and drain, then run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.
Add the egg yolk, egg, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, parsley, and drained Italian sausage to a large mixing bowl. Season to your taste with salt and pepper. Mix together until well combined.
Add the filling to a large, sealable plastic bag, then snip off one corner of the plastic bag. Take a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and spread a layer of marinara sauce on the bottom on the dish. Take the plastic bag with the filling, and squeeze the filling into each shell. Once each shell is filled, place it in the baking dish. Once all shells are filled, cover the dish with aluminum foil, and place the dish in an oven preheated to 375ºF. Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and remove the foil. Spoon additional sauce over the shells, and sprinkle additional parmesan, salt, and pepper on top, if desired. Turn your broiler onto high and return the baking dish to the oven. Let the dish broil for 3 minutes, until the sauce on top is heated and additional cheese melted.
Remove from oven and serve shells on a bed of marinara sauce, garnished with freshly chopped basil. Enjoy with warm bread and Italian wine. Cheers!