With the temperature dropping in the past few days, the mood at our house has gone from “grilling” to “baking”. Since we love pasta, we thought that we should try this new variation of the regular ol’ stuffed shells from Giada DeLaurentiis: it uses ground turkey and artichoke instead of just regular cheese stuffing! And spicy sauce? Yum, I was sold! It sounded like a winner, and it was a winner! We loved the heartiness of the dish, and the artichoke stuffing added a nice combination to it.
- 1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
- 1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.
To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot 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 simmer. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.
Yield: approximately 6 cups