On the plus side, no one complained about the broccoli....
So here's the doctored version - with beef, more cheese(s), family-approved. It makes a LOT. I'm thinking it may be a great potluck dish, too.
Broccoli stuffed shells with Meat Sauce
1 package large shellsIt's not exotic, it reheats very nicely, and makes wonderful leftovers, too. And it will feed at least 6-8 (depending - if you have a whole crew of hearty eaters, possibly less). Leave the beef out & it's vegetarian - although definitely not a meal for the lactose intolerant!
2 jars pasta sauce of choice (I like Newman's Own with mushrooms....)
1 16 oz. container of ricotta cheese
1/2-1 cup parmesan cheese
1 12 oz package shredded mozzarella
1 12 oz package shredded Italian blend
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning (or mix of basil & oregano)
1/2 16 oz package of frozen brocolli
1 lb ground beef (more or less)
2 T dried onion flakes
pepper to taste
1/2 cup water (depending on sauce thickness may need a bit more or less)
Preheat oven to 375'. Brown ground beef. Add 1 can sauce & let simmer. Cook whole box of shells according to package directions. Defrost broccoli & mix with ricotta, parmesan, & half of each mozzarella & Italian cheeses, dried onion, Italian seasoning & pepper. (May add salt to taste, but I found it didn't need any.) Put about 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish (12" x 18" - I think) & spread it around.
Stuff cooked shells with cheese mixture & arrange in a single (double for smaller pan) layer in the baking dish. Pour simmered beef & sauce mixture over the stuffed shells. Pour the remainder of the cold can of sauce on top. Add the water - I swished out the sauce jars & used the result - pouring around the edges so that the cheese mixture in the shells isn't drowned. Top with the remainder of the mozzarella & Italian cheese. Cover with foil & bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil & pop back in for another 5-10 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven & let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with vegetable of choice, salad & bread sticks.