Baked stuffed pasta takes many forms, with manicotti and stuffed shells the most familiar dishes to grace our table as I was growing up. This month, Fry's food Stores Taste of Italy campaign brought in special ingredients imported from Italy, and I received a bag of lumaconi pasta in my complimentary gift basket. We have family visiting from Austin, Texas and a baking tray of stuffed lumaconi smothered in tomato sauce and blanketed with melted mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan was the perfect dish for this week's Sunday Supper.
Lumaconi takes its name from its resemblance to snail shells (lumache is Italian for snail).
The highest-quality dried pasta is extruded through bronze dies, which imparts a rough, ridged texture, enabling flavorful sauces to cling to the surface. Contrast that with the slick, smooth surface of cheaper mass-produced pastas. I'll be stocking up on this pasta before Fry's event ends on the 27th.
Lumaconi Stuffed with Three Cheese and Sausage Filling
One 10.5 oz package of Hemisfares lumaconi pasta
One pound of sausage removed from its casing
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups of whole milk ricotta cheese
2-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups of your favorite marinara
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook to slightly before al dente (about 11 minutes). Drain and cool in cold water. Drain, toss with olive oil and set aside.
- Over medium heat, saute onion until soft, add garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant, and then add sausage. Cook sausage until browned over medium-high heat, breaking up into small chunks. Drain and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, 1-1/2 cups of mozzarella, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, sausage mixture, parsley, and oregano.
- Coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with a thin layer of marinara. Spoon stuffing mixture into the lumaconi and nestle the stuffed pasta in the pan. Coat each lumaconi with marinara and then top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of freshly-grated parmesan.
- Bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes or until browned.
- I always have an abundance of green onion growing in my garden so added 1/2 cup of chopped I'itoi's onions and garlic chives to the sausage mixture.
- Cooking the pasta to just slightly firm makes it easier to stuff.
- You can also bake pasta covered with foil until bubbly, remove, and turn heat to 425 for 5-10 minutes to brown.
- Instead of dried oregano, I seasoned with my homemade herb salt.
I received the pasta from Fry's Food Stores in a complimentary gift basket for Taste of Italy cooking inspiration. The other ingredients were purchased from Fry's.