“This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla® and Johnsonville®. The opinions and texts are all mine.
I have lived outside of Chicago most of my adult life. But sometimes I just crave “Chicago food” like no other. This past weekend I had a few of my Iowa friends ask me. – ” What is Chicago food?”- When I think of popular food in Chicago, I think of the following: Pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, anything from Greek town, and sausage and peppers. To me, sausage and peppers might be the ultimate Chicago food, and it just reminds me of home.
When I was asked to create a recipe using Johnsonville Italian Sausage and Barilla Blue Box Pasta, I instantly started craving something with sausage and peppers. These Sausage and Peppers Stuffed Shells were a huge hit with my two small kids.
I used the last of the peppers and tomatoes from my garden to make this meal. I loved the way this turned out- plus this meal cost less than $10 to make!
I picked these Barilla Jumbo Shells and Johnsonville Italian Sausage at Kroger. Johnsonville has always been a choice for my Italian side of the family. Also, after my mom took a trip to Italy and saw only Barilla Pasta everywhere, it’s all I will use.
I used the last of the tomatoes and bell peppers from my garden for this recipe. The flavor was bold and sweet all at the same time. I also stuffed some ricotta cheese in these shells. The ricotta cheese really calmed the flavor down, so that my kids would eat them.
Sausage and Peppers Stuffed Shells ( Serves 4-6)
20-15 Barilla Jumbo Shells
1 package of Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage- chop Italian sausage into small pieces if you are using links.
2 medium sized tomatoes-diced or an 8 ounce can of drained tomatoes
2 bell peppers- diced, color of your choice
1 clove of garlic- minced
1/2 small onion- caramelized
6-7 basil leaves- or dried basil
8 ounces of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
1 cup of tomato sauce
Method: Cook the Jumbo shells according to the instructions on the package, and set aside. In a saucepan- over medium heat, cook sausage, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and basil. Cook until the mixture turns into a sauce- about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. In a small dish- place a few tablespoons of tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish. Arrange the shells in the dish. Add ricotta cheese into each shell, followed by the sausage and peppers mixture. Top with cheese and tomato sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes.
This was such a wonderful twist on one of my favorite Italian classics. I can’t wait to make this again. Don’t forget to visit Kroger, to get the ingredients to make your own!