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     Classic Italian Stuffed Shells Header

  Classic Italian Stuffed Shells
   Classic Italian Stuffed Shells Photo
Category: Pasta & Rice
Servings: 6 - 8
Total time: 1 hr 30 min
Level: Easy
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An authentic Italian recipe from our kitchen to yours. Buon Appetito!


- 1 recipe of our Home-Style Tomato Sauce

- 1/2 recipe of our Besciamella Sauce

- 1 box of your favorite brand of jumbo pasta shells for stuffing

- 1 pound ground beef or a mix of ground beef, pork and veal or sausage

- 1 medium carrot, minced

- 1 stalk of celery, minced

- 1/2 onion, peeled and minced

- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced

- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

- 1/2 cup white wine

- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

- Salt


1.  Prepare the tomato sauce and besciamella sauce according to the recipes and then set them aside to cool.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3.  Place a large pot filled with water over high heat and bring the water to a boil.




4.  In the meantime, in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and the minced carrot, celery and onion. Sauté the ingredients for 2 - 3 minutes and then add the white wine to the pan. Simmer the ingredients for 2 minutes, and then cover the pan, lower the heat to medium and simmer another 3 - 4 minutes until the vegetables have softened and the wine is almost evaporated. At that point, add the ground meat to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt. Using the back of a fork or a spatula, break up the meat into small pieces and mix it into the softened vegetables. Once broken up and mixed, raise the heat to medium high and sauté the mixture until the meat begins to brown. When the meat has browned, remove it from the heat and set it aside to let it cool.

5.  When the water is boiling, add the pasta to the water and cook the pasta according to the instructions for pre-baked pasta.

6.  Once the shells have finished cooking, drain them from the water, set them on a baking sheet, and drizzle them with a light coating of olive oil so they won't stick together.

7.  Line a large, oven safe baking dish with parchment paper, cooking spray or butter. In the bottom of the dish, add a generous spoonful of the tomato sauce and a generous spoonful of the besciamella sauce. Spread the sauces around so that they cover the bottom of the dish evenly.

8.  Add the cooled meat mixture, the cubed mozzarella and 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce into a mixing bowl and mix well. Taste the mixture and add salt to your taste.

9.  Proceed to generously stuffing each of the shells with this mixture and placing each of the stuffed shells into the baking dish.

10.  If you have any stuffing left over after all of the pasta shells have been filled, add it to the rest of the tomato sauce. Combine the ingredients well.

11.  Alternate spooning the tomato sauce and the besciamella sauce into the baking dish and over the stuffed shells.

12.  Top the dish with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

13.  Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place it on the center rack in the oven for 40 minutes.

14.  After 40 minutes, uncover the dish and let it bake for an additional 5 - 10 minutes or just until the Parmigiano begins to turn a golden brown.

15.  At that point, remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for about 10 - 15 minutes prior to serving.

16.  Serve with additional grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.