Did I mention something last week about cool weather? Really? Because since that post, I think I have jinxed things. The temps were back up in the warmer ranges and the cool days we were were having are long gone for awhile again. Ahhhh…. you have to love Kansas. If you don’t like the weather one day, just wait. It is bound to change!
Kansas weather is not consistent at all. Giada’s recipes? Consistently good. So far, every recipe I have tried out of her cookbook, Everyday Pasta, has been great. Her recipe for Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Pasta Shells was no exception. This recipe was simple and delicious! I felt miserable because of my allergies the night that I made this for dinner for my best friend and her husband. Even through the sniffling and watery eyes, the constant sneezing, and the allergy medicine drug induced coma I was about to be in, I managed to make this recipe and was still able to taste by the time it was ready. Everyone loved it, including myself.
If you are looking for consistency, do not move to Kansas. If you are looking for consistency, turn to Giada’s cookbooks. You will find consistently great recipes every time.
Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Pasta Shells
Perfect home cooked meal for a group of six.
- 1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
- 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 (I used canned)
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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, about 24 shells. 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.
- 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.)
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