Ok, so I'm stopping by real quick to share yet another recipe of mine, actually, the meatballs and sauce came from my mother in law, the shells recipe came from a magazine, and like always, I can't remember which one. This dish pretty much needs to cook all day, and no, I have never tried to make it in the slow cooker, so I always make sure I will home most of the day If I will making it (I do shut the stove off when I do need to step out). It looks like a lot of work, but it really is not, and once you do make it, it will totally be worth it, promise ;)
So here are the ingredients and directions for the Stuffed Shells and Meatballs:
2 lb chop meat
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
parsley (few shakes)
salt (few shakes)
pepper (few shakes)
onion Powder (few shakes)
1/2 can of 15 oz Italian style bread crumbs
Mix all ingredients together (I use my stand mixer to do the work ;) shape into desired meatball size. Heat oil on medium heat (I use enough oil to hit about half of the meatball, brown one side, and then turn and brown the other), and fry each meatball until brown. Remove and set aside.
1 29oz can tomato puree
1 12oz can tomato paste
6 cans of water (use tomato puree can)
1 1/2 cups sugar
oregano (few shakes)
grated parmesan cheese (few shakes)
garlic powder (few shakes)
Mix all ingredients, and bring to a boil. Add meatballs, and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for about 6 hours, until sauce thickens. Add additional sugar if desired while cooking (I like my sauce a little on the sweet side).
On the last hour, I start to prepare the shells.
1 box large pasta shells
1 sm ricotta cheese (I use whole milk)
1 1/3 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook shells according to box (about 7 minutes, remember, they will cook even more in the oven) In a mixing bowl, add about 4 meatballs (mashed with a fork), a small amount of sauce (about 1/4 cup) ricotta cheese, and 2/3 cups of fresh parmesan cheese, mix well. Add a thin layer of the sauce into a casserole dish. Spoon mixture into dry, cooked shells, and arrange in a casserole dish. Add another layer of sauce all over the shells, and sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
Once done, place desired amount of shells, along with meatballs, and drizzle some sauce on top, along with even more parmesan cheese if desired. ENJOY!
Please let me know if you make this dish, or if you have any questions.
Have a great week!