Finally, a recipe from my "must make" list! I've been dying to try Giada's Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells for ages but have had some reservation about it because I wasn't sure how it would go over with Kyle, although I know I shouldn't have any reservations about making any of Giada's recipes because they all turn out so wonderful. Once again, we were not disappointed by Giada!
We ended up swapping out the ground turkey for ground pork because it's what we had on hand and it certainly was a good move; the combination of artichoke with sausage is just heavenly! We didn't make the sauce in Giada's recipe because we're still working through the large pot of sauce that Kyle made over the weekend and I really don't think the recipe was missing anything without Giada's sauce. I didn't include the sauce recipe below but you can find it by clicking on the link to the original recipe above. All in all, this recipe is just perfect for a cold New England [pre]winter night and I can guarantee that they will be back on our plates before the winter is through.
In fact, these shells are also just the perfect dish to bring to Peabody's Housewarming Party this weekend! It's a potluck-style party and I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting to see what everyone "brings"! Not only are my stuffed shells incredibly tasty and will everyone at the party love them, the shells can be made in advance (and frozen if you wish) and they travel well (yes, even virutally). They can be baked after being frozen or refrigerated (baking time adjusted accordingly) and will turn out beautifully either way. And be honest, who doesn't love stuffed shells??
Artichoke and Sausage Stuffed Shells
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 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 pork (sweet Italian sausage)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
- 1 (15oz) can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
- 1 (15oz) container ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 5 cups sauce, homemade or jarred
- 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 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 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.)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes (fresh); 60 minutes (frozen)