I loved these as a kid and they are still a great classic dinner. This is a really simple recipe that works well on a weeknight. You could also make these ahead of time and store in the fridge prior to baking.
*Turkey or veggie crumbles can easily be substituted for the beef. You could also add any fresh herbs you have on hand to the sauce; basil and oregano would be good choices.
- 12 oz. dried jumbo pasta shells
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 (28 oz.) cans peeled tomatoes – don’t drain! (I like Muir Glen Organic whole peeled tomatoes with basil)
- 1 (15 oz.) carton ricotta cheese (I used reduced-fat, but any will do)
- 1 and 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and a 3-quart baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add shells and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain pasta and spread on a baking sheet to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and add the beef and 2 cloves garlic. Season with S/P. Cook until no pink remains. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Wipe the skillet clean and combine the remaining olive oil, garlic, and undrained tomatoes. Season with S/P. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as the sauce cooks.
- Stir 1 and 1/2 cups tomato sauce into the ground beef, add ricotta and 1/2 cup of the cheese; stir to combine.
- Spoon a small layer of tomato sauce into the prepared baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 1 tbsp. meat mixture. Arrange shells in the prepared baking dish. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over shells and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake about 30 minutes, until heated through and top is golden brown.
Recipe Source: Original
Time: ~1 hour