Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Three Cheese Beef Pasta Shells

Yes, this is a Betty Crocker Recipe. I love stuffed pasta shells. This recipe was a hit with everyone in the family. When making it, make plenty so you can have leftovers. Kids will thank you!

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 jar (26 oz) chunky tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup water
1 container (8 oz) chive and onion cream cheese spread
1 1/2 cups shredded 6 cheese Italian cheese blend (6 oz)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package.
2. In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. In large bowl, mix pasta sauce and water. Pour 1 cup of the pasta sauce mixture in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. In medium bowl, mix cheese spread, 1 cup of the Italian cheese, the Parmesan cheese, egg and cooked ground beef. Spoon heaping tablespoon mixture into each shell. Arrange stuffed shells over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top, covering shells completely. Cover with foil.
4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese filling is set. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 375°F.

For the best results, cook the pasta shells just until al dente (still slightly firm). They are easier to stuff, and they won’t be overcooked during baking.
If you can’t find chive and onion cream cheese spread, just stir 1 tablespoon of each, finely chopped, into plain cream cheese spread.


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