There’s something so deliciously comforting about macaroni and red sauce on a Sunday. Between the hours of 1 and 3 pm to be exact. It’s one Italian tradition that gives me warm fuzzies and flashbacks to childhood.
Growing up, nearly every Sunday morning I woke up to the scent of onions and garlic sauteing in olive oil. Really. There’s nothing better than that, except maybe the smell of coffee as an adult. But I was a kid, so there – it was the best smell ever.
This was my first time making stuffed shells. I’m happy to report that the leftovers can leave two people with dinner for an entire week. You can get shelled out, so if you are a household of 1 or 2, I highly suggest cutting this recipe in half.
Pair this with super garlic, garlicy bread fresh out of the oven. And, I don’t know… maybe a glass of Pinot Noir and a side salad with the best Italian dressing ever… and you’ll have a happy little Sunday on your hands. You’re welcome.
- 8 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound spicy turkey sausage removed from its casing (or, use whatever meat you like)
- 1/2 cup red wine (I used 2010 Primal Roots Red Blend – California)
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dash red pepper flakes
- 32 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- Cook the shells for half its cooking time. Then drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
- Heat oil in dutch oven or large pot. Saute onion and garlic for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned.
- Add the red wine and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Stir in the sugar and salt.
- Bring to boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Then, add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Create your cheese mixture – combine ricotta, Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt, pepper and parsley.
- To assemble, coat the bottom of a 9×12 baking dish with meaty sauce.
- Fill each jumbo shell with cheese mixture (about 2 tablespoons each). Place the shell face down on the sauce. Repeat for all.
- Top the shells with remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with cheese for good luck.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.