Dec 17, 2009

Baby and Casseroles on the Way!

ALE (her baby shower is pictured here) is having her baby today!  YAY!  Some of the girls have scheduled everyone to have a night to bring dinner to the new parents until the end of January.  When CM had little MC I brought Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells.  I've discussed my hatred of Giada before, and I cringe to admit that this recipe is hers.  However, it's delicious, hard to screw up, and great for any sort of illness, or new baby because you can stick half in the freezer for later.  It's reasonably healthy, yet gets the guy approval- I made it for my father in law when he had surgery, and he and Hubs love it.  So here's Giada's (ugh) recipe.  At least you don't have to listen to her randomly pepper her speech with words pronounced in an Italian accent.  It serves 6-8.


1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (recommended: Barilla)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 (8 to 10-ounce) package frozen artichokes, thawed and coarsely chopped
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

5 cups Arrabbiata Sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (about 5 ounces)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still very firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, parsley, and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of Arrabbiata sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of turkey mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining Arrabbiata Sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)

Arrabbiata Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups jarred or fresh marinara sauce

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until tender, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.

So if you are making this for a new mama, I might leave out the red pepper flakes if they are nursing- I err on the side of caution since I have never been in that position.
However, the question remains- real or not?  She is from L.A. and tiny everywhere else, yet they look real.  What do y'all think? (Maybe Hubs will like this type of posts better than the clothes I am buying type of post)

Hmmm- enhanced or au naturale? 


  1. Wow this sounds amazing, thanks for the recipe.

  2. HAHAHAHA!!!! She is freaking tiny--but, I work with a woman who has been enhanced and I must say, if Giada's are enhanced, she got a damn good doctor. On that note, my very petite mama was large chested...I did not get those genetics. I, instead got the 5 feet tall and shaped like a pear genetics. Awesome.

  3. I like Giada's recipes - they're accessible and delicious and a great platform from which to advance them if you choose. Two big cooking-phobics I know can both make Giada's food, which is saying a lot - and she never uses disgusting two-FN-personalities-in-particular-you-know-who-I-mean shortcuts with boxed and processed foods, either. There's a difference between "quick" and "simple," after all. At any rate... I think they're real. She's Italian!

  4. I love her recipes! They're always so easy to make. I think they're real. If not that was an amazing surgeon. I've heard of this phenomenon, women who are tiny, but have large chests and I just have to say: It is seriously not fair!

  5. That's so cool of you to do that for your friend! Great recipe - sounds awesome!

  6. I love Giada. I like her a lot better than Mrs. Ray. I think her "Yum-O!" and attitude are straight annoying. To me her boobs look real. I'm usually 90% right because I myself have my boobs done. Not that it really means anything, but Im a pretty good guesser. :)

  7. Fake, fake, fake. And I really dislike her and those perky boobs.

  8. Not sure if the humor came through on that last comment... Ah well. My hubs enjoys her and her v neck tee shirts WAY too much. Perhaps I'm bitter?

  9. You know, I've wondered the same thing! It's not fair if they're real. I'm 5'2 on a good day, yet my pups never looked like that! And the fact that she cooks for a living makes it even worse!


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