Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stuffed Shells

I will admit that I have not been in blog mode lately.  I have been so busy, and my husband and I took an unexpected trip...a fun trip...but unexpected. So I have not really been "food blog minded" lately.  When we sat down to dinner I commented that tonight's meal would make a good post and the family said "Then why don't you post it?"....so with their encouragement and an extreme lack of photos I will share my stuffed shells with you.   I never make these. In fact they had to be described to my children as Lasagna in a shell so they knew what they were eating.  I used what I had on hand, and it is not the most exciting thing you will ever make, however it was inexpensive, made a large quantity, and tasted good.  Having met those requirements I would say dinner was a success. 

I took an 8 oz can of tomato sauce and poured it into the bottom of a 9X13 pan.  I tilted the pan around until the bottom was covered and sprinkled on onion powder, salt and pepper.  I put a box of Jumbo Shells into a pot of water to boil.  I browned 1 lb ground beef with garlic and onion - no measurements - just to taste.  Once it was browned I removed from heat, drained any fat and stirred in 1 (24 oz) container of Cottage Cheese, about 1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese, and another 8 oz can of tomato sauce.  I only cooked the noodles about half way, just so they were able to be manipulated open.  I drained the hot water and shocked them with cold water so they stopped cooking and were easy to handle.  I used a cookie scoop to scoop out the meat filling and drop it into the half cooked shell.  Then I filled up the 9X13 pan that I had put the tomato sauce into.  I packed the shells in there tight.  I had just a small ammount of meat filling left so I took another 8 oz can of tomato sauce and stirred it with the leftover filling and poured it all over the top of the shells.  Then I grated 8 oz of mozarella cheese over the top and covered it with foil.  I baked the shells at 350* for 1 hour. 
They looked like this.....
The cheese was goey and stringy and the noodles finished cooking in the oven. The shells were delicious with a side salad.

Let me know if you give it a try...or even share a recipe that you like for Stuffed Shells!  

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