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three-cheese stuffed shells with meaty tomato sauce


  • 8 oz jumbo pasta shells
  • 30 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz Parmesan cheese grated and divided
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese grated
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 basil leaves chopped
  • 4 tablespoons parsley minced and divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a white onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the Italian sausage and brown, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks.
  • Pour in red wine and let it cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the cans of crushed tomatoes and stir, then add the sugar and salt.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
  • Cover and cook 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine Ricotta, half of the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons of parsley.
  • Stir until combined.
  • Transfer mixture to large freezer sized Ziploc bag and set in refrigerator until needed.
  • While meat sauce is still cooking, cook the pasta shells for half the cooking time. Make sure not to overcook.
  • Drain and rinse in cool water, and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F when meat sauce is done cooking.
  • To assemble, coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with about 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Fill each shell with cheese mixture, by cutting the end of the plastic baggie off and piping it into each shell. Place the shells face down and top with remaining sauce.
  • Sprinkle with other half of Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.