Monday, March 2, 2009

Turkey & Artichoke Stuffed Shells

This recipe is my version of a recipe from Giada deLaurentis with some changes for our tastes, Joel is a bit phobic about onions, etc... We loved this one and it has all the flavors of a fun lasagna with more reasonable portions. I also enjoyed that the artichokes add a certain creaminess to the mixture without having the heaviness of additional cheese.
  • 1 (12 oz) box jumbo pasta shells
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 (8-10 oz) package frozen (canned if frozen not available) artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 C grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Jar Tomato Sauce
  • 1 C Italian cheese mix
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile bring your skillet up to a medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, the minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, basil, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a casserole dish with 1 cup of sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in casserole dish. Continue filling the shells until the dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the shells, top with the Italian cheese.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 20-30 minutes.

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