Friday, May 9, 2008

Giada to the rescue!

This weekend I took some ground turkey out of the freezer with no idea what to make with it in the coming week. I did not feel like making something typical - so that meant no meatloaf, burters, meatballs, or shepherd's pie (since I sometimes use ground turkey to make that). So I started browsing some of my favorite websites for inspiration. I came across a Giada recipe for Turkey & Artichoke stuffed shells and I had everything in the house, except the shells. After a quick market run, I was in business!!!

I made a few changes to this recipe (which is how it will appear below). I used a can of artichokes rather than the frozen since that is what I had in the house and I used dried herbs instead of fresh as her recipe called for, I just can't justify the high cost for fresh herbs right now for a meal that's just for my husband and I. I have to say, modifications and all, this was great!! My husband and I love artichokes and it had been quite some time since I made stuffed shells at all so this was perfect.

Giada says this makes about 24 shells, and she includes freezing directions. Either I have small shells, or I was stingy on my stuffing because I made somewhere around 40 or so shells. So I cooked some for dinner immediately and froze the rest per her directions. My husband isn't a huge fan of any kind of red sauce so I still found this recipe made plenty even though I almost doubled the amount of shells! I did add more cheese though to compensate for my large batch! I certainly don't mind that this recipe made a ton of shells - it will make a great quick meal one night when I don't feel like cooking!!!

(And in a shameless plug - don't forget about the Recipe Remix event!!!)

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 (15 oz) can artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
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


That Girl said...

Giada's amazing. So are your shells! Whenever I make shells I always have more shells and filling then the recipe says I will.

Cooking and the City said...

Robin they look delicious! I love watching Giada on tv. must make some more of her recipe's :-)

Dell xo

Terri said...

Robin: My husband and I did the same thing with this recipe. The only change I made was that I used Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage instead of ground turkey. They were delicious and I bet we had 6 other servings in the freezer. This recipe makes A LOT! Yours look yummy! Makes me want to make another batch.

Cooking and the City said...

Me again Robin, I've an award for you on my blog :-)

Anonymous said...

"meatloaf, burgers, meatballs, or shepherd's pie"

That sounds like what happens to ground turkey in my house too, lol. This souns like a nice break from it, need to try it!