Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant I order one of two things, lasagna or some sort of alfredo. It is something I could eat everyday but am too lazy to make it at home… ever… it just takes too damn long.
So, in an attempt to decrease the time it takes to make lasagna (and because I stumbled across a post somewhere) I was going to do some sort of lasagna spin-off. Well, I couldn’t find what I was looking for in the store, and these giant shells were on sale so I decided to stuff them with everything that is in lasagna.
This did not save me anytime at all. Hell, I think it took longer than just making a real lasagna… but the end result was good enough that I didn’t feel it was a waste.
I can’t really call a post mine without there being some disgusting looking mixture of ingredients. This time, the mixture consisted of ricotta, mozzarella, parsley, and an egg.
The meat mix was half ground beef half sweet sausage.
Next up, I got the sauce rolling and started cooking the shells according to their box.
The sauce was stole from “The Worlds Best Lasagna” on allrecipes: onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and sugar.
As soon as I started stuffing these beasts I realized that I was not saving myself any time or effort… and there probably isn’t anyway to cut the time commitment down and still produce a worthwhile lasagna. Either way, get your sous chef to stuff these so you don’t have to… boring and messy.
But it was worth it because you end up with a ton of these things and they are awesome, you can fit so much of the goods inside one of these. For me it was the perfect ratio of cheese/sauce/meat… but I love my cheese, so you may want to keep that in mind.
Any ideas as how to make a worthy lasagna without having to spend 1 – 1.5 hours making it?
Bored of regular lasagna? Probably not… but check this out anyway. Try stuffing some jumbo pasta shells with this lasagna-esque mixture.
In a large pan brown the ground beef and sausage over medium high heat. Drain and remove from heat.
In a second saucepan saute the garlic and onions in a little olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce then bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Meanwhile cook pasta shells according to box.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Mix ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, the egg, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Mix in the cooled meat mixture then mix in 1+ cups of the cooled sauce.
Cover the bottom of two baking dishes with the remaining tomato sauce. Fill the pasta shells with the cheesy meat mixture and place in the baking dishes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella evenly over top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese begins to turn brown.