- 1/2lb loosesweet Italian sausage links(or remove casings)
- 1cupricotta cheese
- 6tablespoons freshly gratedparmesan cheese
- 1tablespoon choppedflat leaf parsley
- 2 1/2cupstomato sauce & mushroomsor your favoritemarinara sauce
- 12largeshell pasta or8 mediummanicotti
- 4quartsboiling water
Tomato Mushroom Sauce
- 3tablespoonsbacon drippings
- 1/2lbmushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1clovegarlic, minced
- 2 (1 lb)cansItalian tomatoes, crushed
- 1 1/2teaspoonsdried basil
- 1/4teaspoonground black pepper
- Tomato Mushroom Sauce:.
- In a frying pan or Dutch oven, cook bacon strips until crisp.
- Remove cooked bacon, and drain on paper towels.
- Reserve 3 Tablespoons bacon fat and discard the rest.
- Using the same frying pan (or Dutch oven), place 3 Tablespoons bacon drippings, mushrooms and garlic into the pan.
- Cook mixture over low heat until mushrooms are softened (be careful not to burn the garlic).
- Add tomatoes, basil and pepper.
- Cook uncovered over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.
- Crumble the bacon and stir it into the sauce, season with a bit of salt (to taste).
- While waiting for the pasta water to boil, start the sausage filling.
- When water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook it according to package directions, until it is almost done.
- When pasta is cooked, drain it, rinse it with cold water, and drain it again.
- Stuff the shells with the sausage ricotta mixture.
- Pasta Stuffing: If necessary, remove casings from sausage, and crumble the meat.
- In a frying pan, cook crumbled sausage over medium to medium-high heat until its browned.
- Drain cooked sausage.
- In a bowl, beat egg into ricotta, stir in cooked sausage, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, salt and parsley.
- Stuff the cooked shells with the sausage cheese filling.
- Place about half the sauce into a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole dish or a 9-inch square baking dish.
- Arrange stuffed pasta in sauce lined pan.
- Spoon remaining sauce on top of the stuffed pasta.
- (At this point, the pasta may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until the next day*, or baked immediately).
- Cover pan with tin foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F for 30-45 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.
- Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle remaining 4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese on top of the baked shells.
- *NOTE:If stuffed pasta was refrigerated overnight, remove plastic wrap from the pan and cover the pan with tin foil, bake as stated above, but baking time may be 5-15 minutes longer.
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