The Chef’s Table

Created by the Chefs of Maggiano’s Little Italy

March 31, 2015

Stuffed Shells Bolognese Recipe

We love this recipe because its components are so versatile. The Tomato Cream Sauce or the Bolognese alone are worth trying to give any Italian dish a boost. Enjoy our Stuffed Shells Bolognese recipe!

12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (approximately 36 shells)
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Cup Spanish Onions, Diced 3/8”
3/4 Cup Carrots, Diced 3/8”
3/4 Cup Celery, diced using 3/8”
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lb. Ground Beef
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Tomatoes, diced 3/8”
1/3 Cup Fresh Spinach, chopped 1” pieces
1/3 Cup Asiago Cheese
3 Cups Tomato Cream Sauce, see recipe below
3 Tbsp Basil, finely chopped
1 1/2 Parsely, finely chopped
6 Tbsp Asiago Cheese
3 Tbsp Mozzarella Cheese

Tomato Cream Sauce:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp dried basil leaves
3/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter

Partially cook the pasta shells in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly tender but still quite firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. You will continue cooking the shells in the oven after they have been stuffed. Using a slotted spoon, drain pasta shells and place on oiled baking sheet, spreading them out so that they don’t stick together and allow to cool.

Bolognese Filling:
In a large saute pan, heat vegetable oil and add the ground beef & sauté for approximately 5 minutes, as it begins to brown, add the carrots, onions, and celery, garlic and continue to cook for another 10 – 12 minutes until the meat is slightly caramelized and browned, broken into small pieces. Turn the heat off and drain the excess fat. Add the heavy cream and diced tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Fold in the fresh spinach and the Asiago cheese

Stuffing Procedures:
Using the cooked Jumbo Shells, place approximately 1 oz of filling inside of each shell, once the filling is inside the shell slightly compress the shell with your hand to distribute the filling evenly throughout the shell and place (open side up) into a 12″ x 9″ baking dish.

Tomato Cream Sauce:
In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Make sure it doesn’t burn. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and continue to boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour tomato cream sauce, basil and parsely evenly over the front half of the shells and the remaining sauce into the center of the baking dish. Top evenly with the Asiago cheese and mozzarella. Bake in the lower third of your oven until the filling is heated through and the top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

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