Family Meal Planning Made Easy – Not Your Mother’s Stuffed Shells

The 3rd meal option for the Sausage Bolognese offers a lighter version of traditional stuffed shells. This tasty meal substitutes a Béchamel sauce for ricotta yet doesn’t substitute taste!

Sausage Bolognese

Ingredients:

1 lb ground sausage (sweet, mild or spicy -it’s up to you!)

1 -14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

½ -15 oz can of tomato sauce

½ tsp sugar

Directions:

Brown sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. When browned, drain grease, but keep sausage in skillet. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar. Let simmer 15 minutes. Serve over pasta, or use as a base in many other delicious recipes.

Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

½ recipe of Sausage Bolognese

Bechamel Sauce

4 Tbs unsalted butter

4 Tbs flour

1 ¼ cup milk

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried parsley

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 large pinch of salt

1 egg, well beaten

¼ cup shredded parmesan

½ red or orange bell pepper

12-16 large pasta shells cooked al dente

½ -15 oz can of tomato sauce (leftover from preparing Sausage Bolognese)

2 Tbs fresh basil- chopped

¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Prepare shells according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool.

Prepare Bechamel:

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk flour into melted butter and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until it turns a rich gold color. Add milk, slowly, whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps. Once milk is all incorporated, add oregano, parsley, garlic powder and salt and whisk well. Add beaten egg, making sure to whisk quickly and constantly during addition so that the egg will incorporate well into the sauce and not simply become scrambled. Once egg is incorporated, add parmesan and mix well.

Stuff Shells:

Spread about ¼ cup of the Sausage Bolognese into the bottom of a 10-inch pie pan (adjust pan type/size accordingly based on the amount of shells you are making)

Pipe or spoon about 2 Tbs of Bechamel into a shell, then spoon in an equal amount of the Sausage Bolognese into the shell. Place in prepared pan. Repeat until all shells are filled and arranged in the oven pan. At this time, sprinkle the chopped peppers around the shells. Pour the half can of tomato sauce over the shells then sprinkle with fresh basil. Top with shredded mozzarella then bake for 25 minutes. Serve with a salad and nice crusty bread for a delicious meal. Enjoy!