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Chicken and Artichoke Stuffed Shells

March 1, 2009

I haven’t made stuffed shells since I was in Middle School, and when I spotted them on Food Gawker, I got a little nostalgic.  The recipe I saw was a Giada deLaurentis recipe that included ground turkey and artichokes, covered with a spicy Arrabiata sauce.  The recipe seems like a slightly more grown-up version of my cheese-stuffed shells, and a little healthier.  I didn’t have the recipe with me when I made these, and there wasn’t turkey at the store, so they aren’t true to the original.  Despite that, I really liked the results.  Feel free to change this around to use ground beef, ground turkey or add sun-dried tomatoes.  They’re really flexible.  Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

1 box jumbo shells

1 T olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t dried red pepper flakes

1 t dried Italian seasoning

1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes in puree

1 lb ground chicken or turkey

1-9 oz box frozen artichoke hearts

1-15 oz container part skim ricotta

2 eggs

2 T minced fresh parsley

1/2 t salt

1/2 c shredded Parmesan

1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the shells for 10 minutes, then drain.  They will be very al dente, and will cook more in the oven.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring for 1 minutes.  Add Italian seasoning and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, or until thicken to the consistency of a pasta sauce.  Set aside.

Cook ground chicken or turkey in a skillet, breaking it up into small pieces.  Set aside when cooked through.

Cook artichokes according to package directions and roughly chop.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, parsley, salt and Parmesan.  Add cooked ground chicken and artichokes and stir to combine.

Grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Taking one of the pasta shells at a time, spoon ricotta filling into shell (as much as you can fit- usually about 2 spoonfulls) and place in baking dish, filling side up.  Repeat until all filling is used up- you may have a few shells left over.  Pour tomato sauce over shells and cover with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and center is hot.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with mozarella, and bake, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and serve.

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