Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday night meals

Usually I'm not awake early enough to catch much of the Today Show. For some reason, however, last year I was up and it seemed like the best thing to be watching at the time. Good thing, because it provided me with a delicious recipe. At the time, I didn't know she was a regular on the show, but the episode I watched featured Giada De Laurentiis from Food Network. The meal she was whipping up on air was Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Pasta Shells. I'm not a HUGE fan of pasta, but any time you can make it with anything other than just plain marinara sauce, I'm game for giving it a try.

I made this recipe last year not too long after watching the show and it was a hit. I wanted to make the meal again right around Thanksgiving, but decided to veer away from turkey for a little while. So now, with the new year, I dusted off the recipe and had at it. Now the recipe states that you can make 24 stuffed shells which equal 6 to 8 servings. I, however, find that I have extra stuffing and make one large dish of 24 shells to cook right away then load up a smaller dish with 10 more shells to freeze for a later date.

Recipe notes: I don't make the arrabbiata sauce listed on the recipe, I'm sure if I had the time it would be a great addition. Until time starts growing on trees, Vons (Safeway) sells an arrabbiata with a great kick. Shopping at Ralph's last night (which is the only place I've found the large pasta shells), the only arrabbiata they had was almost $8 for one jar. I'm not cheapskate, but refuse to pay that much for pasta sauce. Rather than drive to another store I instead got a spicy marinara and mixed it with spicy roasted red pepper sauce. This time I also added about 1/2 cup of sliced baby bella mushrooms to the turkey mix and cooked them for a minute before adding the artichoke hearts.
One of the best things about this recipe: it is great as a leftover!

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