Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I have already mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I have a love for Italian food. One of my recent favorite Italian meals to make is stuffed shells. To me, it ranks right up there with homemade lasagna. All that baked, cheesy goodness with pasta and a robust sauce, mamma mia, count me in!
Up until this week I've always made stuffed shells exactly the same, based off a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis. Something got into me this week, however. On Sunday night as I was surveying my fridge to see what veggies remained from my produce share, I saw that I still had a bunch of rainbow chard in the crisper drawer. Last time I made Sauteed Rainbow Chard, and while I did love the results, I wanted to do something different with the greens this time around. Then it hit me, why don't I add it to the stuffed shells?
The results were revolutionary. My husband, who was on record as being a huge fan of the original recipe for stuffed shells, informed me last night that from now on chard has to be included. The earthiness of the chard provides a welcome flavor and texture contrast to the artichokes and ground turkey in the filling. You could also substitute spinach for the chard and yield similar results.
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1 box jumbo pasta shells
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 8 ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1 bunch rainbow or swiss chard, chopped
1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons italian parsley, chopped
2 jars arrabiata sauce (I used Mario Batali)
shredded mozzarella cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the jumbo pasta shells and cook for 5 minutes. you want the pasta to be just under al dente since they will continue to cook in the oven. Drain and set aside.
Take one of the shells and spoon the meat filling inside until it is full.
While the pasta is in the oven, assemble the pan to freeze using the same process described above if you choose to freeze half.
When the pasta is done the cheese should be browned and bubbling.
Source: adapted from Giada DeLaurentes