One of the nice things about this recipe is that it freezes very well, so I usually figure if I'm going to make it I'll make a big batch, one to eat and one to freeze for another time. So this is the large batch version, you can cut it down for your needs.
Another note... I use Ultra Gel® in both the sauce and the ricotta filling. This helps keep the whole thing together and keeps both the sauce and filling from going watery in the fridge or freezer.
1-2 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can mushrooms, or 8 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms
1 small call tomato sauce
48 ounces diced tomatoes
Brown beef and add onion and garlic cooking until onion is translucent. Add mushrooms, sauce and tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add spices to desired flavor and thicken with Ultra Gel®. For this application you want a fairly stiff sauce.
1 package jumbo shells
Boil shells according to instructions on the box. Do not over cook.
32 ounce Ricotta cheese - I like the lower fat version
1 large bunch of swiss chard blanched and chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup mixed Italian cheeses
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
2 Tbl Ultra Gel®
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
In a 9x13" dripper pan layer 1/2-1 cup sauce. Stuff each cooked shell with 1 1/2-2 Tbl filling and layer over sauce. Cover with additional sauce and cheese. To serve immediately: Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes until hot throughout. To freeze: Cover with a layer of plastic wrap, pushing wrap down against the top of the shells, then a layer of tin foil, also pushing down to remove air. LABEL with contents and date and freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to serve remove from freezer and thaw for 20-30 minutes before placing in a 375 degree oven until hot throughout.