Thursday, August 27, 2009

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

I'm a huge fan of Giada's baked pasta recipes. Three of Giada's recipes, Penne with Roasted Vegetables, Beef and Cheese Manicotti, and Lasagna Rolls are in my dinner and entertaining rotations quite regularly. Last night, I tried this stuffed shell recipe. Overall, I liked this dish but think a few changes are necessary. I would double the sauce recipe. Once the recipe baked there just wasn't much sauce left in the pan. The sauce has a delicious smokiness from the pancetta which was one of the highlights of the dish. I would also add a bit more crushed red pepper as it didn't have as much bite as I hoped. I wasn't a fan of the ground turkey in the filling. I thought it was a bit bland. Next time, I will use ground beef or Italian sausage. I liked the addition of all the fresh herbs in the filling and the artichokes were a great combination with the smokey tomato sauce. With the changes described above this recipe will easily be another baked pasta favorite. Also, of note there is a discrepancy in cooking times between the cookbook and the food network recipe. The cookbook time is 350 which is what I used. The food network site states 400 degrees.

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)
  • 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 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

Source: Giada de Laurentis, Everyday Pasta, Clarkson Potter, 2007.


Colleen said...

So I have made these before (of course!) but not with the arrabiata sauce (I used some homemade marinara instead) so I am glad you posted your changes sauce-wise. I need to make them again with the actual sauce...these freeze splendidly as well!

Margie said...

OK. Now I'm hungry.

Shauna said...

I love Giada's recipes. I haven't tried this one yet. I will definitely add this to my list.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Oh it looks very good to me. I do agree turkey get lost a lot of times in a dish like this one. I bet the leftover were wonderful.

The Novice Chef said...

What a different recipe! I love it!

Joelen said...

I love stuffed shells as an alternative to lasagna!