Food You Can Eat: Filled Shells

More midcentury madness

I could have eaten more, but I want to pace myself.

First things first:  Please, do not tell me how this dish isn’t actually Italian food.  I am perfectly aware of that fact.  This is a midwestern German grandmother’s version of Italian food.  Draw your own conclusions.

A caveat before we get started:  I don’t know how small the packages of shells were back in 1955, but I had way more than I had either filling or room in the pan.  I even used two pounds of ground beef and still had shells left over in a second pan.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 ½ Lbs. Ground Beef

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Pepper

2 cloves Garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. Oil

1 Egg, beaten

½ Lb. Mozzarella Cheese, diced

3 Bread Slices, dried and crushed

½ Cup Milk

1 Pkg. Manicotti or Large Shells

1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce

½ Cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

¼ Cup Parmesan or Romano Cheese, grated

Brown beef in oil with salt, pepper and garlic.  Drain.

In a separate bowl, combined egg, cheese, bread crumbs and milk.  Add browned beef and mix well.

More cheese is always in order.

Par-boil pasta and rinse to cool.  Fill pasta with meat and cheese filling.  Place a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Arrange stuffed pasta on top, cover with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with additional cheese.

There’s another entire pan.
Yes, that’s it…more cheese.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Still could have used more cheese.

This recipe is…fine.  If I were to make it again, I’d skip the breadcrumbs, and add ricotta, ground pork and a little onion.  You know…Italian food.

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When you can walk its length, and leave no trace, you will have learned.

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