Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sundried Tomato-Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Lamb

Sundried Tomato Stuffed Shells with Sausage and LambI'm hoping Andrew doesn't read this post because then my secret will be out. I found this recipe in a back issue of Cooking Light and tweaked it here and there and now it's even better. Their secret ingredient? Tofu! I know, I know, I have a hard time with the stuff myself but with the sundried tomatoes and lamb marinara the flavors overpower the tofu so you can't tell it's there.

Sneaky, huh?

The recipe called for turkey sausage, which I used, but I also threw in lamb leftover from our Easter meal (see the recipe for rosemary-honey glazed roast leg of lamb) and it was a tasty addition. Gave the sauce a strong, hearty flavor and a meatiness that the tofu needed. Of course all the health benefits of the low-fat tofu were probably canceled out by the lamb, but then I never promised I was fat free.

So here it is, enjoy!

1/4 c boiling water
1 8-ounce jar sundried tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg
8-10 chopped Kalamata olives
1 16-ounce package silken tofu
1 egg, lightly beaten
18 cooked jumbo pasta shells

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound mild Italian sausage
3 cups diced lamb
1/4 chicken stock
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 small bay leaves
1 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes

2 cups grated mozzarella
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Meanwhile, pour the boiling water over the undrained tomatoes and let them set for 20 minutes until they are soft. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the liquid. For the filling, combine the tomatoes with the next eight ingredients (through the beaten egg) in a food processor and blend well.

For the sauce, saute the pepper, garlic and sausage in the oil, breaking up the sausage and cooking until it is browned. In a large saucepan combine the reserved tomato liquid, the sausage mixture and the rest of the sauce ingredients through the can of crushed tomatoes. Let simmer for an hour or more, remove the bay leaves, then pour a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a large, flat, greased baking dish and fill with the stuffed shells.

Carefully ladle the remaining sauce around and over the shells then top with the grated Parmesan and mozzarella. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is lightly golden and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes then serve.


Speaking of lamb and my friend Shelly at The Eclectic Life (a real lamb lover she is) she's got a contest going through May 3rd for your funniest posts. If you think you've got what it takes to make her laugh, give it a try and you could win Valuable Prizes.

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sweatpantsmom said...

This looks great. I frequently make lasagna using tofu instead of ricotta. (But we're big tofu eaters - my kids eat it right out of the container, cubed and with soy sauce and grated ginger...)

my4kids said...

Ooh that looks yummy, Scribbit! I am not a pasta person really either. But that looks really good. Especially smothered in cheese!

amy said...

Yummy! Can I just tell you that I am finding your blog in such random places>> I will have to explain later

Anonymous said...

michelle: you are killing me with that beautiful picture :)

looks YUM!

Lisa Milton said...

Yum. I am allergic to eggs and use tofu frequently, even in desserts. I have tried it out on the skeptical and they can't tell - even my uber-baking grandma.

I might have to give this a try this week. Looks heavenly.

mcewen said...

In the interests of 'inclusion' have you tested this recipe by hurling it into the liquidizer [blender] and then sieving it to get rid of the fibres?
I only ask, because I wouldn't want to go to all that bother and then not be able to drink the darned stuff.
Maybe I should just wait a few weeks and try the 'real' version.