Simple Stuffed Shells

It is funny how many cooking adventures begin with “what if we added”. This is one of those cases. The conversation was originally about meatloaf variations. Since this conversation was taking place at the Italian festival, we began swapping out the ingredients. Once we had talked it out, there was really nothing more to do other than cook it. Here is what we came up with.

16 oz Marinara sauce. Make your own or use a store bought.
4 slices of white bread torn into small pieces.
1.5 cups of cooked and crumbled Italian sausage
1 cup of finely shredded mozzarella cheese.
1 egg

1 box of jumbo shells – boiled to al dente

Basically, dump it all into a bowl and work it all into a meatloaf consistency. I would add the egg last after I had a chance to taste test the mix. Add additional Italian spices, salt, and black pepper to the spice level you want, then add the egg.

I used the jumbo shells for stuffing. You have a couple of choices here. You can stuff the dry shells and cover them with additional sauce for cooking or you can boil the shells to an al dente finish, drain and let cool a bit, then stuff them. I used the last method because I wanted a portable finger food. You can always add more sauce later. This way, I preserved both options.

I stuffed each shell with about a tablespoon of mix and placed them in a casserole dish. Bake covered at 350 F for 30 minutes. Top with a more shredded cheese or parmesan, serve and enjoy.

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