Monday, March 5, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

*On 01/30/14 I added pictures to this post. I figured the new ones, fresh out of the oven and on a full dinner plate, were a little more appetizing than my greasy leftovers. For the sake of my commentary, one greasy leftover picture remains. 

Two things you should know about this picture: 
1)  These are seconds (can you tell the bowl has already been dirtied and licked?).
2)  There also leftovers.  

So, if I want seconds on leftovers . . . it is a GOOD recipe!  We had this one night with the missionaries, and they cleaned the pan.  It's suppose to feed 8 . . . 

These stuffed shells are a great alternative to boring old lasagna. Also, you can prep it and freeze it for up to a month! Which I've done several times. In fact, sometimes I'll split the recipe in half.  We'll eat half the shells for dinner (and then lunch the next day) and then I'll freeze the other half so that we have a ready to go dinner when I'm not feeling like dirtying my kitchen.

This is easy to make, but it will take some time. Worth it if it provides a meal for today and a (frozen) meal later on.  

For the Shells:   
1 (12 oz) box jumbo pasta shells
3 TB olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1lb ground turkey
1/2 tea salt
1/4 tea pepper
1 (8 to 10 oz) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped (I used canned artichokes once and they worked just fine)
3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 TB fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 TB olive oil
6 oz sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 tea crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce

1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.  Add the pasta shells and partially cook, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes.  You want them tender but still very firm to the bite. Drain pasta.  Set aside.
2.  Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.  
3.  Add the ground turkey, salt, and pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through.
4.  Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and let cool.
5.  To make the sauce, heat olive oil in a large soup pot (I use the pasta pot, saves dirtying one more pan) over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute.  Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a gentle simmer.  Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.
6.  In a large bowl, combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley and a little more salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
7.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

8.  To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking dish (2 inches deep) with 1 cup of the sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of the turkey mixture, about 2 TB.  Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish.  Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 20 shells (this is when I gage what is remaining and decide if I can also make a smaller dish for freezing).
9.  Drizzle the remaining sauce over the shells, top with grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in freezer. 
10.  Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 20 minutes (60 minutes if shells are frozen).  

 So yummy!!!

1 comment:

Scott and Claudia said...

Looks delicious and I am hungry so not a good time to be reading this post!! I will have to try it some day. Thanks for sharing!

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