Barilla Classic Shells Bolognese

Recipe Courtesy of Chef David J. Stadtmiller.

This is a classic recipe of Barilla Jumbo Shells stuffed with beef bolognese, consisting of Italian-seasoned ground beef, fresh garlic, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, and mozzarella. They are served in Barilla Marinara garnished with shaved Parmesan and fresh basil and parsley.

1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
6 oz. Vegetable Oil, plus more as needed to coat the pan
1 1/2 Pounds Shredded Mozzarella
6 oz. Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Cups (1 pound) Carrots, diced 1/8-inch
3 Cups (1 pound) Onion, diced 1/8-inch
3 Tbsp. Fennel Seed
6 Bay Leaves
2 1/4 Pounds Canned Diced Tomatoes
3 Cups Barilla Marinara
1 1/2 Pounds Shredded Mozzarella
3 Pounds Barilla Jumbo Shells
72 oz. Barilla Marinara, plus extra for serving
Grated Parmesan Cheese, as needed
6 oz. Fresh Parsley, chopped
3 Pounds 80/20 Ground Beef
3 Cups (1 pound) Celery, diced 1/8-inch
3/4 Cup (6 oz.) garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp. Crushed Red Chili Flakes
3/4 Cup Red Wine (Cabernet blend)
1 1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt

1. To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with the salt. Cook the shells as directed, until al dente.

2. Drain the pasta and toss it with the oil. Spread onto a sheet pan and place in a blast chiller or fridge to cool.

3. To make the bolognese: In a rondeau over medium-high heat, warm ¼ cup of the oil. Add the beef and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until it is fully cooked. Remove and drain the beef in a colander or china cap; reserve cooked beef in a pan. It should be well crumbled prior to draining the fat.

4. Return the rondeau to the stove over high heat and add the remaining ¼ cup oil.

5. Add the carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Add the celery, onions, and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add the cooked beef, fennel seeds, bay leaves, oregano, and chili flakes. Bloom the spices for 2 minutes.

7. Add the tomatoes and wine to deglaze the pan. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the wine is almost completely evaporated.

8. Remove from the heat and fold in the marinara and salt. Stir to fully incorporate.

9. Pour the filling onto a full sheet pan and let it cool in the walk-in for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through the time.

10. Once the filling has cooled, mix in the mozzarella.

11. Using a large spoon, fill each pasta shell with bolognese.

12. In a greased 2-inch half hotel pan, ladle 24 ounces marinara in an even layer across the bottom. Place about 20 filled shells in the pan. Top with 8 ounces mozzarella, sprinkling it over the center of the shells. Cover with plastic wrap and foil and refrigerate. Repeat with two more pans.

13. Bake each pan in a 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

14. Serve 4 shells on a plate with additional hot marinara. Garnish with Parmesan and fresh basil and parsley.