Sunday, February 21, 2010

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

I found this in my Google Reader from Made with Love.... You can see her post here. You can also find the recipe on

I made my sauce a little differently than the recipe suggests. I sort of blended the sauce recipe given with the shells and Giada's Arrabbiata sauce from Everyday Italian. In addition, the sauce in the book only makes 1 quart, which I figured wouldn't be enough. So, I made the sauce in the book (minus black olives). I'm pretty sure I added an extra can of crushed tomatoes as well, to make a bit more sauce. So while I had that going, I then proceeded with this recipe's instructions of browning pancetta in olive oil, adding more garlic, etc. Does that make any sense? This of course made a lot more than the 5 cups I needed, so I just put it in the freezer for another time.

I made two trays of shells. I made a 9x9 pan for that night and a 9x13 pan for the freezer. The pan we had that night came out great, with one exception. The recipe suggests that we drizzle the sauce over the shells, but this resulted in the pasta not covered not really cooking all the way. It wasn't bad, but the softer parts were way better.

This is definitely a keeper!! No pictures just yet... maybe when I make the freezer pan, I'll take some! I enjoyed it, as did BAJ. It also makes great leftovers, which I just had for lunch. Wahoo for stocking the freezer!! Wahoo for my first stuffed shells!


  • 1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla) I used store brand
  • 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 I used regular iodized
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped I used a can, which I drainied first
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves I used a combo of sweet basil and purple basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)

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.)

Arrabbiata Sauce:

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

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

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