A dear friend first brought over this casserole when I was recovering from an accident. Now I take it to other friends' homes and to potlucks, because it's always a big hit!—Beverly Austin, Fulton, Missouri
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 24 jumbo shell noodles, cooked and drained
- In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
Arrange in a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Pour meat sauce over shells. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Freeze option: After assembling, sprinkle casserole with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Italian Stuffed Shells in Country Ground Beef 1993, p54
Full-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.
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