Recipe by Linda's Busy Kitchen
A Blue Ribbon Winner by Valerie Reeves She says: "For years, I tried to find a recipe for stuffed shells and/or manicotti that included meat in the filling. So, after lots of experimenting, I came up with my own! My husband and kids beg me to make this - they say it is the best pasta dish ever"! I say: You have got to try this one.... It's a winner alright! I tried it with the spinach and onions and it was great! Note: Ground beef may be used, but I prefer hot or mild Italian sausage. Optional ingredients that may be added to skillet include spinach, onions, mushrooms, depending on preference.
- 8 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- 24 ounces spaghetti sauce
- 1 lb hot Italian sausage or 1 lb mild Italian sausage
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, petite, diced
- 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 1⁄2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 egg, beaten
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool on paper towel.
- Brown sausage in large skillet, on medium heat. Drain fat and return skillet to stove.
- Add diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and cream cheese to skillet, and continue cooking on medium heat, until cream cheese is completely melted. (About 15-20 minutes).
- Pour contents of skillet into large mixing bowl.
- Add beaten egg, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese, and mix thoroughly. Mixture may seem a little watery, but don't worry, it will thicken during baking.
- Spray a 9x13" pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce into bottom of pan and spread around.
- Spoon meat mixture into each shell and place in pan. (This recipe should make 16-18 shells).
- Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over the shells.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, spread remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese on top of shells, and return to oven for last 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.