Jumbo shell pasta, with its generous size and hollow center, offers a unique opportunity for culinary creativity. When filled with the rich and savory flavors of ground beef, these shells transform into hearty pockets of delight.
This article delves into a selection of jumbo shell pasta recipes that feature ground beef as the star, promising a meal that’s both comforting and packed with flavor.
Jumbo Shell Pasta Recipes With Ground Beef
Stuffed jumbo shell pasta is a delightful dish that combines the heartiness of ground beef with the softness of pasta, all smothered in a rich tomato sauce. This dish is perfect for family dinners, potlucks, or any occasion where comfort food is a must.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- 20 jumbo pasta shells
- 500g ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Olive oil
- To prepare the oven for baking, set the temperature to 375°F (190°C).
- Cook the jumbo pasta shells as per the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sautéing until translucent.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet, breaking it apart as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper. Once browned, remove from heat and drain excess fat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef mixture, ricotta cheese, half of the mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil, and parsley. Mix until well combined.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce at the bottom of a baking dish.
- Stuff each pasta shell with the beef and cheese mixture & place them in the baking dish.
- Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top of the shells stuffed with mozzarella.
- Bake for around 25 minutes, covered with aluminum foil. Then, remove the foil & continue baking for an additional 15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
- If desirable, garnish with additional fresh herbs and serve hot.
- Avoid Overcooking: Ensure the pasta shells are al dente to keep them from becoming too soft when baked.
- Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality marinara sauce or make your own for the best flavor.
- Cheese Variations: You can add other cheeses like provolone or fontina for a richer taste.
- Spice It Up: You can even add red pepper flakes to the beef mixture for a kick.
- Vegetable Addition: Add finely chopped spinach or mushrooms to the beef mixture for nutrition.
- Assembly: Let the shells cool slightly before stuffing to handle them easily.
- Presentation: Serve in individual dishes for a more elegant presentation.
- Store any Jumbo shell pasta leftover in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- This dish can be frozen before baking. When ready to eat, bake directly from the freezer, adding an additional 10-15 minutes to the baking time.
- Serve with a side of garlic bread or a fresh green salad.
- Pair with a medium-bodied red wine, such as Chianti or Merlot.
- Finish off the meal with a light dessert like tiramisu or panna cotta.
How Long Do You Cook Shell Pasta?
To cook shell pasta, follow these general steps:
- Boil water: Bring a big pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
- Add pasta: Pour in the shell pasta and stir to prevent sticking.
- Cook al dente: Boil for about 8-10 minutes, occasionally testing for doneness. The shells should be tender but still have a slight bite (al dente).
- Drain and serve: Drain the pasta in a colander, use it in your desired recipe, or toss it with sauce immediately.
What Does Stuffed Shells Go Good With?
Stuffed shells pair well with a variety of side dishes and accompaniments:
- Salad: A fresh green salad with vinaigrette complements the richness of stuffed shells.
- Garlic bread: Serve with garlic bread or a crusty baguette for a satisfying combination.
- Roasted vegetables: Roasted asparagus, broccoli, or zucchini add a healthy and flavorful touch.
- Tomato sauce: Top with marinara or a tomato-based sauce for added flavor and moisture.
- Italian antipasto: Enjoy with olives, cheeses, and cured meats for an Italian feast.
Utilizing jumbo shell pasta as a vessel for a delectable ground beef filling results in a visually appealing and satisfying dish to the palate. With their blend of herbs, cheeses, and beef, these recipes create a symphony of flavors encased in perfectly cooked pasta.
Whether you’re looking for a family dinner staple or a dish to impress guests, these jumbo shell pasta recipes with ground beef offer a culinary experience that’s as delightful to behold as it is to savor. Embrace the fusion of texture and taste in this classic pairing, reimagined for contemporary tastes.
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