Freezer Friday - Stuffed shells

Here is an easy freezer recipe: Stuffed shells. 

A little bit like lasagna but you don't have to make a huge pan. The filling for these is pretty simple, but really good. Once you have the filling made, you stuff the cooked shells and freeze them on cookie sheets. Once they are frozen put the desired amount into freezer bags and label. This recipe easily can be tripled or quadrupled. 
This is a great quick meal. Serve it with some salad and crusty bread. 
When it's time to eat, just pop the frozen shells into an oven safe pan, and instead of the tomato mixture called for in the recipe just top with your favorite marinara sauce and sprinkle a little cheese on top. Bake thawed shells covered at 350 degrees F  for about 30 minutes. Frozen shells need to be baked a little longer, 45 minutes or so. 
(link for stuffed shells recipe online http://www.bhg.com/recipe/beef/stuffed-shells/)

Stuffed Shells 
  • 12
    ounces dried jumbo pasta shells (about 35 shells)
  • 3
    tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2
    pounds lean ground beef
  • 2
    cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2
    28 ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 1
    15 ounce carton whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/3
    cups grated or finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 15x10x1-inch baking sheet and a 3-quart oval or rectangular baking dish.
2.Bring a large pot of water, with 1 tablespoon salt added, to boiling. Add pasta shells and cook just until slightly tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta and spread in a single layer on baking sheet to prevent them from sticking together.
3.In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add beef and 1 clove of garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 6 to 8 minutes, until no pink remains in beef. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
4.For tomato sauce, in a second skillet over low heat combine remaining olive oil, remaining garlic, and undrained tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer over low heat; cook for 15 to 20 minutes until thickened somewhat, breaking up tomatoes with the back of spoon.
5.Stir 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce into cooled ground beef, then add ricotta and 2/3 cup of the Parmigiano; stir until combined.
6.Spoon 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce into prepared baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 1 tablespoon meat and cheese mixture. Arrange shells in prepared baking dish. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over shells, then sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup cheese.
7.Bake about 30 minutes, until filling is heated through and top is golden brown.

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