Conchiglioni Pasta Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce is jumbo shell pasta and lots of cheese baked together with a made from scratch meat sauce.
I can’t remember the last time I made stuffed shells. I remember my mom making manicotti. Which is kind of the same concept. Large pasta shapes stuffed with a ricotta cheese mixture. Smothered in sauce and baked. When researching for this post I discovered that the Italian name for shell pasta is Conchiglioni. I had never heard the term. So I figured I’d give myself a little education along with the development of my version of this baked pasta dish. Read on to find out how to make a really delicious dinner – Conchiglioni Pasta Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce.
What is Conchiglioni Pasta?
Conchiglioni in Italian means sea shell. Any shell pasta is conchiglioni pasta. For purposes of this recipe, I use jumbo shells. The shells are easy to prepare. Cook to al dente and drain. Then allow the shell pasta to cool on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I filled the shells using one of my soup spoons. This recipe takes a little time to assemble, but it’s really quite easy to make. And of course it tastes amazing.
How to Pronounce Conchiglioni
It is not pronounced at all like I would have imagined. I was trying to pronounce it very literally. I clearly did not take Italian in high school. It is pronounced con – KEEL – yay. Click HERE if you’d like to hear it.
What you need for Conchiglioni Pasta Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce
- Jumbo Shell Pasta
- Cottage Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Fresh Basil
- Lemon Juice
- Black Pepper
- Ground Sirloin
- Beef Broth
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Brand of jumbo shell pasta for this recipe
- Sheet pan and parchment paper to cool the shell pasta
- Approximate size of spoon for filling the pasta
- Bake the pasta in a casserole dish
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Conchiglioni Pasta Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce
- 16 shells jumbo shell pasta
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 medium sweet onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant.
- Add the ground sirloin and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula as it cooks.
- Stir in the beef broth and crushed tomatoes. Stir in the oregano, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Cover and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a clean bowl, mix together the ricotta, cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of mozzarella, parmesan, egg yolks, basil, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Mix until completely blended and smooth. Set aside.
- Cook the jumbo shell pasta according to package directions. Drain and allow to cool on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Fill each pasta shell with about a couple of tablespoons of the cheese mixture.
- Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with about 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce. Arrange the cheese stuffed pasta shells on top of the sauce. Top the shells with the remaining meat sauce. Then top the shells with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and increase the temperature to 500 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes more, until the top is just starting to brown a bit.