Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells with meat and cheese with tomato sauce in a blue splattered patter with holly and a Tuttorosso tomato can.

Paid partnership with Tuttorosso Tomatoes & FeedFeed.

Every Christmas, my Sicilian nana makes trays of her stuffed shells. She uses her meat mixture that we typically create for our meatballs to stuff large shell pasta with a gorgeous tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. A lot of family’s stuff their stuffed shells with cheese, but ours has always used the family’s meatball recipe for the best meat filling and the most delicious red sauce. I’ve decided to give my family’s recipe a go with my version of Stuffed Shells with red sauce made from Tuttorosso tomatoes.

If you’re Italian or have had the honor of having an Italian grandmother’s red sauce – you know the deal. It’s an elixir of deliciousness. More precious than gold. Some call it gravy – but no, no. This is SAUCE. And the sauce made with Tuttorosso tomatoes brings it to a different level.

I absolutely love tasting how fresh Tuttorosso tomatoes are and really experiencing the quality they have. In my most recent wellness journey, I feel confident in Tuttorosso tomatoes, because of their promise to never use preservatives or GMOs in their products. Alas, making my family’s sauce that much better. 

While my recipe is just a little different from my nana’s (can’t give all the family secrets away!), it’s just as delicious and I have a sense of pride knowing I can continue our family tradition that has been so cherished every year!

Please view the original recipe on the FeedFeed at ff.recipes/mary-mangia-stuffed-shells.

Stuffed shells with meat and cheese with tomato sauce in a blue splattered patter with holly and a Tuttorosso tomato can.

Stuffed Shells

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

Meat stuffed shells that are perfect for any Italian holiday tradition!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound ground chuck
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 16 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 28-ounce can Tuttorosso Peeled Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can Tuttorosso Tomato Plaste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 31/2 cups water

Instructions

    1. Prepare the shell filling. Combine meat, egg whites, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, basil, ¾ cup water, cheese, salt, and pepper together into a bowl. Refrigerate the mixture overnight for best results, or at least for 2 hours.
    2. While the meat is in the refrigerator, add Tuttorosso Peeled Plum tomatoes to a blender and blend until smooth. Add to a large stock pot. Bring tomatoes to a boil, then simmer for an hour. While the tomatoes simmer, open the can of tomato paste and add 1 tsp of sugar on top. Let sit for 1 hour. 
    3. While the tomatoes are simmering, add onions, garlic, and olive oil to a frying pan and saute until onions are translucent and garlic is soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
    4. After the tomatoes have simmered, add onion mixture, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and 3 ½ cups water to the stockpot and simmer for up to 2 hours for best results.
    5. Now that the meat has rested for up to 2 hours, add meat mixture to a frying pan with olive oil and brown until completely cooked through. Add spinach to the meat mixture while cooking. Allow the meat mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
    6. Now that the sauce and meat mixture have cooked and simmered, begin assembling the stuffed shells. Take a large baking dish and spread a generous layer of sauce at the bottom. Begin stuffing the cooked jumbo shells with the meat mixture and gently placing them side by side in the baking dish.
    7. Top the stuffed shells with more sauce until sufficiently covered, and add mozzarella cheese.
    8. Bake stuffed shells for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly. 
    9. Serve stuffed shells with extra tomato sauce and enjoy.

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