Monday, June 21, 2010

Turkey and artichoke stuffed shells

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I first tried this recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis's Everyday pasta a couple of years ago and it makes a reappearance in my kitchen once or twice a year. It's a great use of ground turkey and the recipe makes a ton especially for my two-person household. If you're like me, make it in 3 smaller baking dishes, putting about 12-16 shells in each dish. Or if you have a big family or expect a crowd, go for one big dish. This go-round, we ate one dish immediately, one went straight into the freezer for future use and the third went to mom and dad.


I use Giada's Arrabiata recipe (follows) because I like the little kick from the red pepper and the extra meatiness of the pancetta, but feel free to use regular marinara too. Don't skip the fresh basil - it adds a ton of flavor to the dish. Add a side salad and you've got a perfect dinner.

This happens to be my stuffed shell recipe of choice. My mom makes great shells that are filled with cheese only. Leave a comment with your favorite filling - I'll give those a try next time instead of turkey and artichoke.

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Turkey and artichoke stuffed shells

1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

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In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.

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To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)

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Arrabbiata Sauce

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.

Yield: approximately 6 cups


Cherine said...

These looks really good and cheesy!!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Looks GREAT! So comforting and delicious.

Heather said...

Mmmm....stuffed shells are the best! These look fantastic.

Cooking with Kait said...

The stuffing sounds amazing with the artichokes. Good job!

Anonymous said...

Such a great idea for a family dinner - these are going in my favourites list!

The Mom Chef said...

Your photos are gorgeous. If the shells taste even half as good as they look, they must be amazing. I've never tried them so I don't have a favorite; but I think I'll give these a go. Thanks for sharing.

Magic of Spice said...

Just beautiful...Love stuffed shells and these ingredients make them fantastic!

Kristina said...

That looks and sounds incredible. Great photos!

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