Breaded Italian Stuffed Shells Arrabbiata

Submitted by Crystal Schlueter


About the cook: I am a passionate home cook and love to entertain. Holiday parties are my specialty!

About the dish: My aunt was half Italian and taught me a lot in the kitchen, so I created this recipe in her honor. These zesty sausage and cheese stuffed shells with a crispy coating are perfect for serving on game day, at casual get togethers or holiday parties.



National Origin: Italian

Serves: 6

Estimated Time: 30 to 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

12 jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 ounces bulk hot Italian sausage
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons packed frozen & thawed spinach, squeezed dry and chopped
Several pinches each of salt & black pepper, divided
Vegetable oil for frying
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 cup jarred arrabbiata pasta sauce, warmed
Fresh basil for garnishing

Preparation:

Prepare pasta according the package instructions. Drain well & gently toss with 1 tablespoon evoo. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add 1 teaspoon evoo & the Italian sausage. Cook & crumble sausage until no longer pink. Add garlic & cook for another 30-60 seconds or until garlic is tender. Set aside to let cool. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, spinach, cooled sausage mixture & a pinch of salt & pepper. Spoon filling into the shells. In a large sauce pan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 325 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir together the flour with a pinch of salt & pepper. Place the eggs in another bowl. In a third bowl whisk together the panko, Italian seasoning, paprika & another pinch of salt & pepper. Coat shells with flour, then egg, then panko. Allow to dry on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve with warm pasta sauce & garnish with fresh basil. Yield: 12 shells, 6 servings

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