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Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Shells With Tomato Mushroom Sauce

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“Another family favorite. This dish may be prepared a day ahead of time.”
READY IN:
1hr 40mins
SERVES:
4
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Tomato Mushroom Sauce:
  2. In a frying pan or Dutch oven, cook bacon strips until crisp.
  3. Remove cooked bacon, and drain on paper towels.
  4. Reserve 3 Tablespoons bacon fat and discard the rest.
  5. Using the same frying pan (or Dutch oven), place 3 Tablespoons bacon drippings, mushrooms and garlic into the pan.
  6. Cook mixture over low heat until mushrooms are softened (be careful not to burn the garlic).
  7. Add tomatoes, basil and pepper.
  8. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.
  9. Crumble the bacon and stir it into the sauce, season with a bit of salt (to taste).
  10. While waiting for the pasta water to boil, start the sausage filling.
  11. When water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook it according to package directions, until it is almost done.
  12. When pasta is cooked, drain it, rinse it with cold water, and drain it again.
  13. Stuff the shells with the sausage ricotta mixture.
  14. Pasta Stuffing: If necessary, remove casings from sausage, and crumble the meat.
  15. In a frying pan, cook crumbled sausage over medium to medium-high heat until its browned.
  16. Drain cooked sausage.
  17. In a bowl, beat egg into ricotta, stir in cooked sausage, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, salt and parsley.
  18. Stuff the cooked shells with the sausage cheese filling.
  19. Bake:
  20. Place about half the sauce into a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 9-inch square baking dish.
  21. Arrange stuffed pasta in sauce lined pan.
  22. Spoon remaining sauce on top of the stuffed pasta.
  23. (At this point, the pasta may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until the next day*, or baked immediately).
  24. Cover pan with tin foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F for 30-45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.
  25. Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle remaining 4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese on top of the baked shells.
  26. *NOTE:If stuffed pasta was refrigerated overnight, remove plastic wrap from the pan and cover the pan with tin foil, bake as stated above, but baking time may be 5-15 minutes longer.

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