Prep 1 hr
Cook 40 mins
Another family favorite. This dish may be prepared a day ahead of time.
- 1⁄2 lb loose sweet Italian sausage link (or remove casings)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 1⁄2 cups tomato sauce & mushrooms or 2 1⁄2 cups your favorite marinara sauce
- 12 large shell pasta or 8 medium manicotti
- 4 quarts boiling water
Tomato Mushroom Sauce
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
- 1⁄2 lb mushroom, cleaned and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 (1 lb) cans Italian tomatoes, crushed
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Tomato Mushroom Sauce:.
- In a frying pan or Dutch oven, cook bacon strips until crisp.
- Remove cooked bacon, and drain on paper towels.
- Reserve 3 Tablespoons bacon fat and discard the rest.
- Using the same frying pan (or Dutch oven), place 3 Tablespoons bacon drippings, mushrooms and garlic into the pan.
- Cook mixture over low heat until mushrooms are softened (be careful not to burn the garlic).
- Add tomatoes, basil and pepper.
- Cook uncovered over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.
- Crumble the bacon and stir it into the sauce, season with a bit of salt (to taste).
- While waiting for the pasta water to boil, start the sausage filling.
- When water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook it according to package directions, until it is almost done.
- When pasta is cooked, drain it, rinse it with cold water, and drain it again.
- Stuff the shells with the sausage ricotta mixture.
- Pasta Stuffing: If necessary, remove casings from sausage, and crumble the meat.
- In a frying pan, cook crumbled sausage over medium to medium-high heat until its browned.
- Drain cooked sausage.
- In a bowl, beat egg into ricotta, stir in cooked sausage, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, salt and parsley.
- Stuff the cooked shells with the sausage cheese filling.
- Place about half the sauce into a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 9-inch square baking dish.
- Arrange stuffed pasta in sauce lined pan.
- Spoon remaining sauce on top of the stuffed pasta.
- (At this point, the pasta may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until the next day*, or baked immediately).
- Cover pan with tin foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F for 30-45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.
- Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle remaining 4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese on top of the baked shells.
- *NOTE:If stuffed pasta was refrigerated overnight, remove plastic wrap from the pan and cover the pan with tin foil, bake as stated above, but baking time may be 5-15 minutes longer.
Excellent recipe. I did not follow recipe exactly and combined with another recipe. I made the sauce a bit different. I sauteed the garlic, onion, added chopped green pepper, bacon, and broiled steak seasoning salt in the 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings. Then cooked the crumbled sasage and when finished added half the sausage (1 packet of 9 links) to the mushroom mixture once it was done, stirred it and then added to 2 big cans of crushed tomato, 1 small can of tomato paste, and 1 normal can of tomato sauce. I cooked the sauce for 3 hours and also added some fresh ground pepper. I stuffed the shells and manicotti as directed but added shredded mozzarella as well as the grated fresh parmigiana... I also covered the entire tray with shredded mozzarella - covered with foil and baked... then removed foil for the last 10 min of baking... it was the best dish ever... it's better than any stuffed shells I have ever had. You can put the leftovers right back in the oven the next day and it tastes even better.