Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

As many of you may have guessed by now, we both have a bit of a crush on Italian food...especially pasta. And as much as I love a good old fashioned American meal, to me it seems somehow fitting to end a holiday weekend with a splash of Italy. So this dish is what happens when you take leftover Thanksgiving turkey and force it to become Italian: you get turkey and cheese and basil and tomato sauce and goodness. Aside from mashed potatoes, this is the perfect comfort food.

Since we made this dish before Thanksgiving so we could share it with you, we didn't have any bits of turkey lying about. We therefore used ground turkey (as picture above). It worked quite well and means you can make this any time you want!

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
Recipe from Everyday Pasta
Pictures by Caroline

1 (12 oz) box jumbo pasta shells
3 tablespoons evtra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound turkey meat, ground, or chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped*
1 (15 oz) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 1/2 tablesoons dried)
2 tablespoons chpoped flat-leaf parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
5 cups marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups grated mozarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add pasta and partiall cook until tender, but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the garlic and cook until the onion is soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is lightly golden and cooked through (if using already cooked meat, just heat until warm through). Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with 1 cup of sauce. Hold 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 sauce over the shells and top with the grated mozzarella. Bake until the shells until warm through and cheese is beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.
*We couldn't find any frozen artichokes, so we used canned ones. Just be sure to drain them well.


FFF said...
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Jessie said...

Thanks for the recommendation. These turned out quite well. Next time, I will be a little more generous with the tomato sauce.

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