Last night I made one of Matt's favorites for supper. Stuffed Shells. Its also one of my favorites, or at least it would be if I made it my way with ricotta and spinach. This is the picky country-boy version. But everyone else sure loves it, including his entire family, so I brought leftovers in for his grandpa today, too.
World's Easiest Stuffed Shells
1 1/4 pounds Italian sausage
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
24 - 30 jumbo shells
1 jar pasta sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Brown the Italian sausage in a skillet and drain off the fat.
Take off the heat and add the cream cheese, stirring until all the meat is coated.
Mix in the Parmesan cheese.
Add the egg and mix well.
(all of this can be done a day or two ahead if you are pressed for time in the evenings like I am)
Preheat oven to 350.
While the meat is browning, cook the shells in boiling water until just pliable. DO NOT cook all the way through, as these will continue to cook in the oven.
Pour a thin layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of your baking dish (9x13, round casserole, whatever you have in that size range. I've also used 2 pie plates in a pinch).
Drain the shells and allow to cool just enough so they can be handled.
Using a spoon, scoop the meat mixture into the shells. They do not need to be super-full, a good spoon full will do.
Place the filled shells on the pasta sauce and repeat until all shells and meat are used.
Drizzle the rest of the pasta sauce over the shells and top with the mozzarella.
Cover the dish with foil and bake about 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Dish it up and enjoy with garlic bread!
This is a little heavy if you are used to traditional Italian shells, but if you live in the Midwest, chances are no one will notice.