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Three-Cheese Jumbo Shells

I love cooking, but I'm not into fancy gourmet foods. I think it's more challenging to make delicious, down-home foods like this beefy casserole with ingredients easily found in the refrigerator and on my pantry shelves. —Marjorie Carey, Alamosa, Colorado
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink, breaking meat into crumbles; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and egg. Stuff shells with the cheese mixture.
  • Arrange shells in a greased shallow 3-qt. or 13x9-in. baking dish. Spoon meat sauce over shells. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes longer.
    Freeze option: After assembling, sprinkle casserole with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover and freeze unbaked casserole. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.
Editor's Note: If there is no "Sell By" date on a ricotta cheese carton, it should be stored in the refrigerator no longer than 5 days after purchase. Ricotta and other soft cheeses should be discarded as soon as any mold appears.
Nutrition Facts
3 stuffed shells: 442 calories, 20g fat (10g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 706mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 2g fiber), 32g protein.

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