Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce
1 lb (450g) pasta shells
1 lb (450g) ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup (120ml) red wine (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (240ml) pesto
2 cups (200g) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (50g) grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, chopped (for garnish)
Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Cook the Pasta: Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Make the Meat Sauce: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Remove the beef and set aside. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
Combine Ingredients for the Sauce: Return the beef to the skillet. Add the crushed tomatoes, red wine (if using), dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
Assemble the Dish: In a large baking dish, spread a layer of the meat sauce. Fill each pasta shell with a spoonful of pesto and place in the dish. Once all the shells are filled, pour the remaining meat sauce over the top.
Add Cheese and Bake: Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese over the top. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
Bake the Shells: Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Garnish and Serve: Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh basil before serving.

By Admin

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