Hooray for another stuffed shell success! Not only did I discover another tasty flavor combination, but I got the added bonus of enough shells to freeze for 2-3 more meals. This is especially helpful since I will be starting my general surgery rotation next Wednesday and will therefore be cooking far less than normal due to the crazy hours I will be working. I didn’t realize it beforehand, but this Food Network recipe actually came from an episode of Giada’s Everyday Italian called “Freeze It”, specifically focusing on food that freezes well for later.
These shells really are delicious, and have a nice spicy kick to them. I made a few minor changes of my own. I used canned artichokes instead of frozen because my store didn’t have frozen and frankly, that eliminates the step of thawing and draining them. Also, I did not add the pancetta to the Arrabbiata sauce since I don’t like bacon. The recipe with my few changes is below.
Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
1 (12 oz.) box jumbo pasta shells
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
½ tsp. salt, plus ½ tsp.
¼ tsp. pepper, plus ¼ tsp.
1 can of artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 (15 oz.) container of ricotta cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
5 cups Arrabbiata sauce (recipe below)
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
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.)
For the Arrabbiata sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
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 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.