- jumbo pasta shells - 1/2 pound (250 g)
- olive oil - 2 tbsp
- onion - 1 small, finely chopped
- salt and pepper - use very generously
- garlic cloves - 3, minced
- ground beef - 1 pound (500 g)
- italian herbs - 2 tbsp
- spaghetti sauce - 2 cups
- ricotta - 2 cups (or cottage cheese)
- mozzarella - 1 cup, shredded (plus more for topping)
- parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup, grated (plus more for topping)
- egg - 1 large, beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 1 minute less than the package suggests. Drain and run cool water over the shells. (to keep the shells from sticking together, I added about 1 tbsp olive oil to the water, and stirred them gently often.)
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, generously add salt and pepper and sauté until softened - about 4 - 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the beef and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. When the beef is almost cooked through, sprinkle the Italian herbs over it and stir in about 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce, then remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and egg - mix together well, then mix into the beef mixture.
- Grease a 9" x13" baking dish and spread the remaining sauce evenly in the bottom. Spoon the filling carefully into each shell and arrange them on the sauce, then sprinkle with additional mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until heated through.