There is something about cool Fall days that make  me want to spend time in the kitchen cooking and baking. I did just that yesterday. The only difference is that it isn’t Fall… It’s Summer. Or is it? You wouldn’t have noticed with the crisp wind and daytime high of 14 degrees. Not your typical Summer weather.

The weather had me in the mood to whip up a comfort dish for dinner. Something I have been craving a lot lately is stuffed shells and lasagna. When I came across One Sweet Appetite’s recipe for Lasagna Stuffed Shells on Pinterest I knew I had to make my very own variation of this. In the variation I prepared, I modified it by added some of the spices that you would usually find hidden within my homemade spaghetti sauce.

Obviously, I was feeling pretty overzealous because it took me a little over three and a half hours to prepare this meal. Had I not had to see to the baby during this time, I could have easily prepared the dish for the oven in 30 minutes, give or take. I can tell you that it was well worth all the effort! Now if only I could invest the same time I spent making this meal to cleaning my house.

lasagna stuffed shells

Stuffed Lasagna Shells

Ingredients

  • 20 large shells
  • 1lb extra lean ground beef
  • 2.25 cups of your favourite pasta sauce
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Cook shells until al dente. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Separate and set aside.
  2. Season ground beef with a dash or two of salt and pepper, and brown. Drain off excess fat. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix 2 cups pasta sauce with garlic powder, onion powder, ground thyme, ground oregano, sugar, salt and pepper.
  4. Add 1 cup of pasta sauce to the meat. Layer 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of casserole dish. Set remainder of sauce aside.
  5. In a small bowl mix ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozarella cheese, parmesan cheese and egg.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of cheese to the bottom of 20 jumbo shells. Top with meat sauce (about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of meat mixture). The shells should be heaping in meat sauce.
  7. Place shells in casserole dish. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on remainder of the mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

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