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How to make it

  • Prepare the Marinara: In a sauce pan, heat the oil over medium low heat; add the garlic and saute for a about a minute then add the tomatoes. (You can break up the tomatoes before you add them with your hands or by breaking them up with a spoon or throw in the blender or food processor and process, using pulses until roughly chopped but this is how I did them)...add the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, and then break up the tomatoes using a potato masher, mashing and stirring until you have a thick tomato sauce with just tiny pieces of tomato floating through it. Add the basil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set-aside.
  • Cook the pasta shells: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta, one shell at a time; lower the heat so it is barely simmering and cook, stirring (gently) occasionally until the pasta is al dente (about 3 minutes less then the package indicates). Carefully pour into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking - set aside (you might notice how I keep saying gentle and careful...jumbo pasta is notorious for breaking apart, and you can't make good shells with broken pasta. By using a gentle cooking and gentle stirring; you will get whole shells that are easy to stuff.)
  • Make the filling:
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the onion and carrot and saute until the onion is soft and translucent (about 5 - 7 minutes); add the meats and cook, stirring and breaking them apart with your spoon until they have reached a perfect shade of grey (you just want them to loose their pink, do not brown, grey is good in this application); now stir in the flour, oregano and red pepper flakes along with some salt and pepper; once that is incorporated; add the wine and stir it in well, allow this to simmer until the wine is evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in 2/3 of the grated cheese.
  • Once all this is cool enough to handle, place about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 12 inch round baking dish. Place 2 tablespoons (approximately) into each shell and set on top of the sauce (meat side up) then cover with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with foil and place in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes; when hot and bubbly, remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted. Serve hot.
  • Per Serving: 499 Calories; 29g Fat (8g Sat, 14g Mono, 2g Poly); 28g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 59mg Cholesterol; 752mg Sodium.

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