When it comes to cooking, I look for easy and delicious. I don't like spending hours in the kitchen. And I definitely don't like buying special ingredients just for one recipe.
Serves 5 (3 shells each)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
15 jumbo shells (you could also use manicotti pasta, but I like shells because they are easier to fill!)
1 lb ground elk (can substitute other ground meat)
2 cups whole milk ricotta
2 tsp basil
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce (flavor of your choice)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
In large pot, bring 4 cups water to a rolling boil. Place shells in boiling water and reduce heat to medium. Add a teaspoon of salt to prevent shells from sticking together. Cook for 10 minutes.
Tip! If you boil to hard, the shells will tear.
Brown 1 lb ground meat in skillet.
While shells and meat are cooking, mix together ricotta, basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic and parmesan cheese.
Tip! The seasoning measurements above are recommended, but you can increase/decrease to your personal preference, and add other seasonings based on your own tastes.
Drain meat. Mix in jar of spaghetti sauce, reserving ½ cup for later. Simmer meat sauce on low.
Drain shells. Spread remaining ½ cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of casserole dish.
Carefully fill shells with ricotta cheese mixture and place shells in casserole dish.
Tip! To make filling easier, use a pasta spoon to hold the shells.
Pour meat sauce over shells. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top. Ok to sprinkle some oregano, basil or parsley on top too!
Bake covered at 350° for 30 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread, salad or soup. Refrigerate leftovers.
Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting turkey, deer, elk and waterfowl. She is a Team Member at Huntress View and Brand Champion for ReelCamo Girl, two organizations that work to support, encourage and empower women in the outdoors. Follow her on Instagram @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.