Arrabbiata Sauce or Marinara Sauce (see links for recipes)*
1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (also known as seashell pasta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound boneless, skinless turkey thighs, ground**
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and chopped***
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan-Reggianno cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (use small leaves whole and large leaves sliced)
1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
* 5 cups of good-quality store bought Marinara Sauce may be substituted.
** Purchased lean ground turkey may be substituted.
*** Marinated artichokes my be substituted, if you prefer.
If using either a homemade Marinara Sauce or Arrabbiata Sauce, prepare sauce in advance. NOTE: You will need approximately 5 cups for this recipe.
Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the jumbo pasta shells, give them a gentle stir, and partially cook, stirring once or twice, until tender but still very firm to the bite, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, gently drain, rinse with cold water and drain again; set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, garlic, and thyme until the onion is soft and just starting to brown. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts, stirring to combine, and then remove from heat; set aside and let cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the bottom of a 9x13x2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of the prepared Marinara Sauce or Arrabbiata Sauce; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled turkey mixture, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, and basil. Add salt, and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells: Hold a cooked jumbo pasta shell in the palm of your hand. Using a spoon, carefully stuff the shell with about 2 tablespoons of the prepared turkey mixture. Nestle the stuffed shell, upright, into the sauce in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full. Your should have about 24 stuffed shells. Drizzle the remaining 4 cups of Arrabbiata or Marinara Sauce over the stuffed shells and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.
Bake until the stuffed shells are heated through and the cheese is just beginning to brown, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve. Makes approximately 6 servings.