Lasagna Shells

Every now and then I get to wanting something a bit different from the regular Poe family fare, but that is difficult to manage because my husband isn’t so big on “different.”  He has a list of foods he likes, and he doesn’t like to deviate from that list.  Therefore, that often means that instead of something completely different, I get to see if I can take a favorite recipe and play with just enough to satisfy my desire for new and different yet keep it the same enough to keep my husband from running to the nearest Mickey D’s.  Well, pretty much my favorite kind of food is Italian, but my Honey doesn’t really care for much Italian.  He will eat spaghetti and some lasagna.  That’s it.

Recently, I saw a recipe for Mexican shells.  It’s basically a taco recipe that you put in the giant shell noodles and bake for a bit.  I thought I might try that, but Monday we did regular tacos, which left me with a box of giant shell noodles to play with.  That’s when I got the idea for Lasagna Shells.  I made them last night, and let me tell you, they were a hit!  I’m so happy!  My husband ate two big helpings and later declared them “so good!”  If I do say so myself, they aren’t half-bad, and they are no harder to make than regular lasagna.

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Ingredients:

  • about 18 giant shell noodles, cooked al dente (a little over half-cooked)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or turkey if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • about 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 (26 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (8 oz.) bag shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Boil noodles until about half-cooked (al dente).  Drain and place in an ungreased 8×11-inch baking dish.  *If you use a bigger pan, you will probably need more noodles.
  2. Brown ground beef, with onions and garlic mixed in, over high-medium heat.  Drain.
  3. Carefully spoon about 1 tbsp. of ricotta cheese into each shell.
  4. Complete filling shells with beef mixture.
  5. Pour spaghetti sauce over top of the shells.  (You may not need to use entire jar’s worth of sauce.)
  6. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of sauce.
  7. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of everything.  Cover it as thick as desired.  (You may not need the entire bag’s worth of cheese.)
  8. Cover with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
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