Okay, home Chef’s, let’s set the mood. Dim the Lights and light the candles, this is the perfect date night meal for that special someone. About a month ago my husband and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary and also his birthday, I know what you’re thinking, yes we got married on his birthday which re-assured me that he would never forget the day we were married, hey! A girls got to do what she has to do.
I wanted to make something delicious for our special day, last year we celebrated at a steak house which was very nice but, this year with all the restrictions I decided to do something more intimate. We both love Italian food and I thought that this recipe would be perfect for the occasion. Just to be clear, one thing I have learned over the years is in order to pull off a good Italian meal is that you have to have a great tasting sauce.
My meat sauce recipe is delicious and, I stand behind it. But it’s not the authentic Italian meat sauce, I call my sauce authentic American style meat sauce. I did not use fresh tomatoes where you have to cook them for a long time, and I did not make fresh pasta, but what I did use was frozen Italian Three Cheese Stuff Pasta Shells and added my own meat sauce made with tomato puree. And what’s fantastic about my meat sauce recipe is, I use it when I make spaghetti and Lasagna, one sauce, three different recipes. Make this your go to meat sauce and maybe you can find other recipe ideas to use it in. This recipe goes great with a Tossed Salad and Garlic Bread. The video below will show you how to make the meat sauce and complete this amazing recipe.
THREE CHEESE STUFFED SHELLS WITH MEAT SAUCE
2 Pounds of Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion
1 Green Bell Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Ground Red Pepper
2 - 28 oz Cans of Tomato Puree
2 Packages of Spaghetti Seasoning
3 Tablespoons of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
1 Teaspoon of Thyme
1Teaspoon of Basil
1/2 Cup of Water
Brown Ground Beef if you use 90-10 do not drain – if 80-20 drain some, leave a little fat. Add Onion, Bell Pepper Minced Garlic, Stir to blend. Add Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt, Ground Red Pepper, Blend well. Add Tomato Puree, Spaghetti Seasoning, Sugar and Parmesan Cheese, Blend well. Add Basil, Thyme and Water, Blend well and let simmer for 30 minutes.
CHEESE STUFFED SHELLS
1 Package of frozen 3 Cheese Stuffed Shells - No need to thaw
1 + 1/2 Cup of Cheddar Cheese
1 + 1/2 Cup of Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Parmesan Cheese
In 13x9 Baking Dish, add 2 cups of Meat Sauce.
Layer 12 Stuffed Shells – 3 rows, 4 in each row
Sprinkle half the Parmesan Cheese
Add half of Cheddar Cheese
Add half of Mozzarella Cheese
Layer Meat Sauce over Shells
Add remainder of Cheddar Cheese.
Add remainder of Mozzarella Cheese.
Sprinkle the remainder of Parmesan Cheese.
Cover lightly with foil.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until Bubbly.