STUFFED SHELLS BOLOGNESE
Maggiano's Little Italy Recipe
1 box jumbo pasta shells (about 36 shells)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup Spanish onions, diced
3/4 cup carrots, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1/3 cup Asiago Cheese
3 cups Tomato Cream Sauce (see recipe below)
3 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
6 tablespoons Asiago cheese
3 tablespoons Mozzarella cheese
Tomato Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
3/4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Pasta: Partially cook the pasta shells in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly tender but still quite firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. You will continue cooking the shells in the oven after they have been stuffed. Using a slotted spoon, drain pasta shells and place on oiled baking sheet, spreading them out so that they don’t stick together and allow to cool.
Bolognese Filling: In a large saute pan, heat vegetable oil and add the ground beef & saute for about 5 minutes, as it begins to brown, add the carrots, onions, and celery, garlic and continue to cook for another 10 to 12 minutes until the meat is slightly caramelized and browned, broken into small pieces. Turn the heat off and drain the excess fat. Add the heavy cream and diced tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Fold in the fresh spinach and the Asiago cheese.
Stuff the Shells: Using the cooked Jumbo Shells, place about 2 tablespoons of filling inside of each shell, once the filling is inside the shell slightly compress the shell with your hand to distribute the filling evenly throughout the shell and place (open side up) into a large baking dish.
Tomato Cream Sauce: In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Make sure it doesn't burn. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and continue to boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes.
Bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour tomato cream sauce, basil and parsley evenly over the front half of the shells and the remaining sauce into the center of the baking dish. Top evenly with the Asiago cheese and mozzarella. Bake in the lower third of your oven until the filling is heated through and the top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.