Tony D's Stuffed Shells with Sausage
Serves 8. Pair with a full-bodied red wine.
¾ lb. of hot Italian ground sausage
1 small yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves of garlic (diced)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. of large pasta shells
32 oz. (4 cups) of ricotta cheese
16 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. of chopped parsley
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
32 oz. marinara sauce.
1. Brown ¾ lb. of hot Italian ground sausage and drain. Sauté 1 diced yellow onion and 2 diced cloves of garlic in 2 tbsp. of olive oil (or 2 tbsp. oil from ground sausage) until onion is translucent brown.
2. Add browned hot Italian ground sausage to the onion mixture and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Let cool.
3. Cook 1 lb. of large pasta shells until al dente. Drain well. Toss with a touch of olive oil and refrigerate.
4. While pasta is cooking place 32 oz. of ricotta cheese, 8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese, ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp. of chopped parsley, ½ tsp. sea salt, ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and the sausage and onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Mix by hand.
5. In an approximately 13” x 9” baking dish coat the bottom of a large baking pan with a thin layer (16 ounces) of your favorite marinara sauce.
Stuff the large al dente pasta shells with the cheese and sausage mixture. Add to the baking pan.
6. Drizzle the remaining marinara sauce over the stuffed pasta shells. Add the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese over the stuffed pasta shells covered with marinara sauce. Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 35–40 minutes.