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Sausage Stuffed Shells

A delicious Italian inspired comfort food.

Course: Main Course, main dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: basil, italian sausage, mozzarella, parmesan, pasta, pasta shells, pinenuts
Servings: 4 servings
Author: HelenFern
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound Sweet Italian sausage, bulk
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz dry large pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1 14oz-can diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Instructions
  1. Cook the shells until they are soft but still slightly firm. Drain, saving 3 tablespoons of the water. Toss lightly with oil and set aside to cool.

  2. Using a mortar and pestal, crush the fennel seeds. 

  3. In the mean time, brown the sausage in a heavy skillet. Add the onion, garlic, crushed fennel seed and 3 Tablespoons of the water from the pasta. Simmer until the onions and garlic are soft.

  4. Remove from the heat and cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir the ricota, 1/4 cup parmesan and 1 Tablespoon minced basil.

  5. Gently stuff each shell with the mixture and place them, open side up, in a large baking pan.

  6. Top the shells with the canned tomatoes, mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan. 

  7. Bake at 350° for abut 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

  8. Serve hot garnished with a little more parm, some pine nuts and basil. 

Recipe Notes

To toast pine nuts, heat a heavy, cast iron skillet dry. Toss in the nuts and shake the pan. Continue gently shaking the pan over the heat until the nuts become fragrant and are lightly browned.