Stuffed Shells

My friend Rosa is a great lady who knows her Italian cuisine.

My friend Rosa Poppante, an Italian through and through, tells me that when she cooks authentic Italian food, she thinks of the Italian flag — red, white, and green. If, she says, she is missing any of the colors, she knows the meal is not complete. I thought of Rosa, whose husband owns Da Vinci’s Restaurant (check out their menu here!)in Hickory, when I was preparing this recipe.
Da Vinci’s is an exceptional restaurant if you like traditional Italian food, and who doesn’t! Their pizzas, pastas, appetizers, and desserts are divine. Plus, they have a GREAT wine list. Here are some reviews!
I take some shortcuts with this recipe to save time, but you could certainly make your own chicken marinade and tomato sauce, but I certainly do not think the McCormick’s marinade and Sockarooni hurt this recipe. It feeds a crowd and is hearty enough that two shells will satisfy most folks, especially if you serve an appetizer or salad.
Jackson likes his shells with chicken, cheese, and egg only. So, I always hold out a little chopped chicken to make Jackson some special shells.
From start to finish, this recipe will take you about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.

Fresh vegetables make these shells irresistible.

1-1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast
1/2 pkg. McCormick’s Grill Mates Garlic, Herb, and Wine Marinade
(You will need balsamic vinegar and oil to complete the directions on the marinade)
1/2 red onion chopped
1 shallot chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup roasted red pepper chopped
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
2/3 cup ricotta
1 cup shredded mozzarella + 1/4 cup for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 jar Newman’s Own – Sockarooni
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 pkg. jumbo pasta shells

Ready to serve

Follow directions for marinade, and marinate chicken for at least 1 hour.
Prepare shells as directed on package.
In a skillet, cook chicken on medium to medium high heat until cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper
Meanwhile, chop vegetables as directed above.
When chicken is done, remove any burned marinade, add, olive oil garlic, and all vegetables.
Cook vegetables, stirring frequently, for about five minutes, until onions are soft.
Shred chicken in food processor or with a food chopper.
Mix chicken, veggies, cheeses, and egg until well blended.
Stuff shells.


Cover with sauce of choice, and add mozzarella as garnish.
Bake for 30-40 minutes in a greased baking dish at 350 degrees.

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