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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mex-Tal Stuffed Shells

Does your family often argue over the dinner menu? The dish I have here today will cover the fight for both Mexican and Italian in one easy dish. I have always been afraid of trying to produce the perfect stuffed shell. Good thing for this recipe! The ooey-goodness of the melted cheeses and sauce cover any flaws that happen when you fill up the shells.

(See, you can't see that a shell was split in half while being stuffed!)

15 Jumbo Pasta Shells
1lb Ground Beef
1 (10 ounce) can Enchilada Sauce
8 oz Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Dried Basil
¼ teaspoon Ground Cumin
½ cup Refried Black Beans
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne
1 cup shredded Italian Blend (or Mexican Blend) cheese

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat. Stir in garlic, oregano, basil, and cumin. Stir in 1/2 can of the enchilada sauce. Stir in refried beans. Set aside.

3. Fill each cooked pasta shell with the beef mixture. Coat an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and pour the remaining can of enchilada sauce with can filled with water evenly over the bottom.

 Place each shell into the bottom of the dish. Pour the tomato sauce over the tops of the shells. Sprinkle with cayenne over top.

4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, uncover and sprinkle the tops of the shells with Colby-jack cheese. 

Bake until the cheese has melted. Let rest 5 minutes before digging in.

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