- 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 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
- In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange shells in a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish. Pour meat sauce over shells. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer.
Freeze option: After assembling, cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake as directed, adding remaining 1 cup mozzarella after 30-40 minutes and increasing time as necessary for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Yield: 8 servings.
Reviews forItalian Stuffed Shells
"Pretty good base recipe I used cream cheese instead of cottage cheese, added parsley and ginger and used tomato sauce instead of paste as well as diced steak instead of ground beef the adult men in my home fell in love with it and demand I make it once a week! I also sweetened the sauce with organic light brown sugar."
"Great receipe, being from the Cayman Islands I added a bit of jerk dry seasoning instead of just salt and pepper and added mild cheddar cheese for a cheesier dish at the end. ITS A HIT IN OUR HOME??"
"Excellent base recipe but needed a few things! I added salt, pepper, a general Italian seasonings mix, and a packet of Splenda to the sauce so it wasn't so bitter from the paste, and used 2 beef bouillon cubes instead of granules since my grocery store didn't stock granules. The cottage cheese is great...not as heavy as ricotta and I didn't have an after-taste that I sometimes have after eating ricotta. I cooked extra shells just in case I had any that broke apart. The shells should only be cooked 10 minutes for al dente. My husband and even my 5- year old loved it!!"
"I've used cottage cheese (not ricotta) for my meals akin to this all my life. ricotta altho good, I've never gotten the 'wow' when using it. prob just a preference but for my/our tastes I'll continue with my cottage cheese bcz to me it's still very Italian"
"Sooo good and my 8 yr old loved it! I made it as is, I also used the tomato paste with Italian seasonings. After reading reviews, I am curious to try it with ricotta instead of cottage cheese but I'm very happy with the original recipe."
"Why not use Ricotta instead of cottage cheese? Then it would be more ITALIAN!!"
"My husband and mother and I loved it..very hearty and delicious. I served a side salad and buttered French rolls, and could not finish it all. The only change I made was not using the cottage cheese, because we are not fans."
"This was very rich and cheesy, so much so that two stuffed jumbo shells were sufficient for me. After I had realized that i added all the mozzarella to the cheese mixture, I waited to add the Parmesan during cooking. Turned out just fine! Used beef broth instead of the water and beef bouillon granules, and found that more broth was necessary. Am looking forward to leftovers."
"My husband thought this was fabulous. I didn't have much time so I used bottled pasta sauce, and fried up some hamburger to put in the sauce. It was so good, he asks for it all the time. I think this would be a great dish to serve to company."
"Thought these were good, but we prefer the ones stuffed with meat. Also, as others have pointed out, I only had enough filling for about 17 or 18 shells. Luckily I had enough ingredients on hand to make up more filling so I didn't have to waste as many shells."