Thursday, March 19, 2009

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

Originally a Giada recipe, I came across this on the Cooking This and That blog. Colleen made the whole recipe and provides a great explanation of how to freeze half of it for another time. I cut it in half, and was still able to stuff 15 (very full) shells. This recipe makes a lot of food!

The artichokes are wonderful in this recipe and they aren't overpowering. You could easily sub the ground turkey for ground chicken if thats what you have on hand. I didn't have any pancetta for the Arrabbiata sauce, so I just jazzed up some tomato sauce with the garlic and red pepper flakes and it was still great. And I just want to say: I really wish I could find some wheat pasta shells at my chain-grocery stores. I would feel a little less guilty...
Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce
serves 6-8 as written (I halved it and still made 15 shells), from Giada De Laurentiis

1 12-oz box jumbo pasta shells
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped (I used 3 in my halved recipe, we like garlic!)
1 lb 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-oz) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped (I used canned)
1 (15-oz) container ricotta cheese
3/4 c. grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I omitted)
5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (I used an Italian blend bag of shredded cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. 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. Drain pasta.
2. 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. (Now is a good time to start the sauce, recipe below.)
3. 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. (I also added ~1 tsp. Italian seasoning.)
4. To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce (I still used this size baking dish). Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2-3 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24-30 shells. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella.
5. Bake at 400 deg F until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 20-25 minutes.

Arrabbiata Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped (I omitted)
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced (I still used 2 even though I only made ~ 3.5 cups sauce)
5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce (I used a 29 oz can of tomato sauce)

1. Heat the olive oil in medium 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.REVIEW:
Josh wasn't home to eat this, but I really liked it! But then again, I like pasta. The flavors were really good, and this wasn't overly heavy. I was too lazy, but I would suggest serving with garlic bread and a green veggie.


  1. Yum! This recipe looks delicious!

  2. So glad you liked these! Yours look great - I like how you jazzed up your sauce, sometimes I don't have time to make my own!