Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells in Arrabbiata Sauce

I was going through my giant binder of recipes that I have either torn out of magazines or printed out when I saw it on the food network, when I came across this one.  I haven't made it in ages and it is even more amazing since it makes two batches!  We had one for dinner and I froze the other for a lazy night.  That makes me smile...I love a lazy night of no cooking.  I will just turn the oven on and put them in!

The batch you make right away only takes 20 minutes in the oven, so by the time you clean up your mess, set the table and put the second batch in the freezer, it is ready!

Start by boiling a large pot of water to partially cook your shells (they will cook the rest of the way in the oven).

Next, saute onions and garlic in olive oil.  

Then add the ground turkey, salt and pepper.  Once that is cooed through, add the artichoke hearts and stir.

Allow to cool so you will be able to handle the meat to stuff into the shells.

Add ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and salt & pepper.


Mix all ingredients.

Add one cup of the Arrabbiata sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13 by 2-inch baking dish.

Stuff shells with about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture.  I used a medium scoop.

The easiest way to fill these is to put the shell in the palm of your hand and fill it with the scoop.  Then place each filled shell in the dish.

Add remaining sauce to the top and sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese.  I use fresh.  It is easier to grate if you put it in the freezer for a bit before trying to grate it.  Soft cheeses are never easy to grate, but I think it tastes so much better.  I use a box grater for this.

Seal the other dish and put into the freezer.  To reheat later, preheat to 400 degrees and bake for 60 minutes.

Bake the dish you are going to eat for dinner at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serve with your favorite veggies.

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
6 to 8 servings


  • 1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 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 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boilover 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 panchetta, 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

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