Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

For the shells:
8 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells
30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
8 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
1/2 cup Grated Romano Cheese
1 whole Egg
12 leaves Basil, Chiffonade
2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
Salt And Pepper, to taste

For the sauce:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
5 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 pound Italian Sausage
1/2 cup Red Wine
1 whole (28 Oz. Size) Crushed Tomatoes
1 whole (15 Oz. Size) Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley

Instructions

Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.

In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.

To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve with crusty French bread.

Source: The Pioneer Woman

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Scalloped Potatoes With Thyme and Bay

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave, minced
1 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1⁄2 lbs russet potatoes or 5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, broth, cream, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of a potato slice with some resistance), about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.

Transfer the mixture to an 8-inch square baking dish (or other 1 1/2 quart gratin dish). Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake until the cream is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients

5 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole large yellow onions, diced
2 whole green bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine (or low sodium beef broth if you prefer)
2 cans (28 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14 oz. size) crushed tomatoes
1 can (4 oz. size) tomato paste
1-2 jars storebought marinara sauce (use 2 if you like the sauce to be more saucy than meaty)
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon ground thyme
4 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley (or 3 tablespoons parsley flakes), more to taste
1 whole rind from one wedge parmesan (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

IMPORTANT: This recipe can easily be halved! I just like to make a ton so I can freeze it.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute.

Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then add oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper (if using). Stir, then add cooked ground beef and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or some low-sodium broth if it needs more liquid.

After an hour, add the minced parsley and the rind from a wedge of Parmesan (or grated Parmesan if you prefer–or both!) Stir to combine, then put the lid back on and allow it to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (4 med sweet potatoes or abt 2 large sized cans)
6 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp. butter (no margarine), softened or melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
6 tbsp. melted butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick each sweet potato with a fork and place on foil in the oven. Cook for 40-60 minutes or until tender. Once they’ve cooled enough to handle, slice in half and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl.

To the mixing bowl add in sugar, butter, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Your butter should be soft enough to blend up easily, so nuke it in the microwave before you add it to the bowl if you need to. Mash by hand or use an electric mixer to mix everything together. Mix it just until everything is incorporated but there are still some sweet potatoes in larger chunks.Spread this mixture evenly into a 9 x 13 pan.

For the topping, combine brown sugar and coconut and then pour melted butter over and stir. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes in the pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes. The top should be nice and browned and bubbly when it is finished cooking.

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Adapted from Our Best Bites

 

Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups rinsed, drained uncooked long-grain white rice
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. canola oil , divided
2 large eggs , beaten to blend
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-size pieces
4 small peeled and finely diced carrots (about 4 ounces total)
1 1/2 cups broccoli , cut into small pieces about 1/4 inch in size
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tsp. toasted sesame oil

Directions

Combine 2 2/3 cups water, rice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a rice cooker, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the steamed rice to a baking sheet to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and stir with a fork for about 30 seconds or until just cooked. Remove the eggs from the wok and set aside on a plate.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok, season chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of canola oil in the wok over medium-high heat.

Add the carrots and broccoli to the wok, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the cold rice, and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the eggs, chicken and 3/4 of the green onions. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Transfer the rice to a bowl and sprinkle with the remaining green onions.

From Oprah

Broccoli Rice Casserole

Ingredients

1/2 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
2 heads broccoli
2 packages Uncle Ben’s wild rice mixture
2 cans mushroom soup

Directions

Cook rice as directed and steam broccoli.

Butter casserole dish.

Mix cheese and soup together. Alternate cheese soup mixture with broccoli and rice layers.

Top with additional grated cheese.

Bake in oven for 1 hour at 350˚F.

Garlic Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup long-grain white rice
2½ cups chicken broth, divided
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
squeeze of lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  In a saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and rice to the pan and cook until both are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, the salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Pour the mixture into the casserole dish, cover, and bake for 25 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 45 minutes.  About 15 minutes before it is finished baking, stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

From Annie’s Eats