Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins | Total Time: 45 mins | Yield: 6-8
To save time, you can make this pesto stuffed shell with Italian sausage marinara in advance and freeze. Bake when ready to serve for an easy and quick meal perfect for everybody!
2 Jars your favourite marinara sauce
12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells
2 pounds ground Italian sausage
1 c. pesto, divided
1 tbsp minced oregano
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp crushed red pepper
salt + pepper, to taste
HOW TO MAKE PESTO STUFFED SHELLS WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE MARINARA
Step 1: Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Cook the sausage in a hot medium-large saute pan for about 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat until no longer pink and cooked through. Pour in the sauce and stir. Slightly simmer the sauce, then transfer the sausage marinara mixture to a large casserole dish.
Step 3: Following the package directions, cook the pasta shell in 4 to 6 quarts boiling salted water for about 7 to 8 minutes until al dente.
Step 4: In the meantime, combine the ricotta, half cup of pesto, minced garlic, minced oregano, red pepper, and a heavy pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Then, into a large zip lock bag, transfer the ricotta pesto filling and snip the tip of the bag.
Step 5: Under cool water, drain the pasta shells. With the ricotta filling, fill each shell and put them into the sausage marinara-filled casserole dish. Over the shells, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, and the rest of the pesto.
Step 6: Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the mixture is golden and bubbly.
Step 7: Remove from the oven when done and serve the pesto stuffed shells with Italian sausage marinara right away. Enjoy!
Make this dish a day ahead by prepping and assembling the pesto stuffed shells. Tent and keep the dish in the fridge. To bake, add a couple of minutes to the baking time.