Sausage & Pepper Stuffed Shells

Sausage and peppers is like, my thing.  Everyone I know always wants me to make sausage and peppers.  Every party, get together, tailgate............it's always sausage and peppers.

I can understand it, because I probably make the most amazing sausage and peppers on the planet.  I get it.  BUT..........I get REALLY REALLY tired of eating it after a while.

I love to take something everyone loves and find creative and exciting ways for people to enjoy it.  Take my Creamy Sausage & Pepper Pasta for instance.  That pasta is a gift from the Gods.  I swear.....

Anyway, I invented this recipe and trust me, it's everything you have ever wanted in an Italian meal.  Go big or go home baby, but get your asses in the kitchen.........


Prep Time:  2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Serves:  8-10

Ingredients:

FOR MARINARA:
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp hot pepper seeds (optional)
4 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup of tomato sauce
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of beef stock
4 fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper

FOR SHELLS:
1 box of jumbo shells
4 tbsp salt for pasta water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb of loose sweet italian sausage
3 large bell peppers, minced finely (i used a red, yellow & orange)
16 oz ricotta cheese
16 oz of fresh mozzarella, cut into to 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup parmiggiano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp fresh basil, minced
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
Fresh parsley for garnish
Freshly grated parmiggiano for garnish

Method:

Let's get that marinara going.  In a large pot, heat up 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  If you are using hot pepper seeds, drop them in and toast them up to release the oils.  Throw in your onion and garlic and sautee gently until translucent.

Add tomato paste and work it into the onion mixture until it is well incorporated.  Add the tomato sauce and the beef stock.  Bring to a simmer and add your salt and pepper.

Add your crushed tomatoes and herbs.  Reduce heat to super low, cover with a lid and let simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2 hours later................

In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the minced peppers and start to cook until they start to become tender.  Add the italian sausage, break up with a wooden spoon and sautee until it's cooked through and crumbly.

Strain the sausage mixture and allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the shells in salted boiling water for about 7-8 minutes.  You do not want to cook them completely.

Strain shells and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine 16 oz of ricotta cheese, 3/4 of your cubed mozzarella, 1/2 cup of parmiggiano, the herbs, garlic powder, 2 eggs and the salt and pepper.  Mix until well incorporated.  Fold in the cooled sausage mixture.

In a 9x13 baking dish, ladle about 1-2 cups of marinara into the bottom of the dish.

Using a serving spoon, spoon the sausage ricotta mixture into the shells and place them in the bottom of the baking dish.  Really stuff that mixture in.  Don't be skimpy with the filling!  A HUGE pet peeve of mine with stuffed shells!!  lol

Spoon about another cup or two of marinara over the shells.  Grate some parmiggiano on top and sprinkle some chopped parsley.  Sprinkle on the remaining fresh mozzarella cubes.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Serve with extra marinara on the side.



And as always, get your asses in the kitchen!

Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef.  She beat out 43,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place.  Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world.  She now shares her recipes with all of you!  Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”. 

To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below. 


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