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Monday, November 22, 2010

Homemade Marinara Sauce & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells (w/Turkey)

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A mom friend of mine brought me this after I had Robert in January. I was never a big fan of ricotta cheese, so I was surprised when I fell in love with this recipe and have grown to really like ricotta!

(Isn't it fun to try new things as we age? I mean, our taste buds constantly change!)

I asked her for the recipe immediately, but when I realized she made the marinara sauce homemade I was overwhelmed with the chore and put it off.

She used Giada de Laurentiis' Marinara Sauce recipe and then just cook and add in a pound of ground turkey. If you're in a hurry, she says you can cook the sauce less than the full hour too.

Gather Ingredients

You've washed all of your produce, right?
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1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
64-ounces canned crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
(This recipe will make enough for 2+ meals.)


Directions
In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame.
Dice up onions and garlic.
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Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
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Hire yourself a handsome (carrot eating) fool helper, so that you can stop to nurse babies.
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Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
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Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour.
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Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste.
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(The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

You can also freeze the sauce to be used later.
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Optional*
Cook up ground turkey and add it into the sauce.
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Next, to make the pasta, gather these ingredients.
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Jumbo Pasta Shells
Ricotta Cheese
2 eggs per batch
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Boil Pasta Shells
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Put a light layer of sauce on pans.
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Mix 1-2 (she used 1, but I tried 2 and liked it) eggs into your ricotta.
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Helpers are always nice here, too.
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Fill each pasta shell with ricotta mixture.
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I am linking this post up with Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday.