Today is National Upside Down Day – or to be more precise, it’s National PINEAPPLE Upside Down Cake Day. Although I will confess, National Upside Down Day sounds much more intriguing, don’t you think? I had planned to make Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes in celebration of this day, but life got in the way.
Hubby and I are a part of a very exciting event that will be happening in our Parish this fall. With such a huge undertaking, we have all sorts of sub groups and meetings and behind the scenes preparation work. Tonight I won’t even be making supper – it’s a potluck for our Passover Committee. Passover is the part of the Eucharistic Experience that we have been assigned – to present the Passover and to show it’s connection to a Catholic’s true Eucharistic Experience. My particular task is to bake unleavened breads. Oh but there is more – the Eucharistic Experience Expo will span 6 weeks. My task is to not only bake unleavened breads, but to keep those loaves from spoiling while on display. I know the look we want to achive, now it’s just a matter of baking breads that can be on display for 6 weeks without spoiling.
Since today is a potluck meeting for our particular committee, I will spend today baking breads that we can eat. The first task is to get the bread to appear right, the second is to figure out how to preserve it while maintaining that fresh from the stone oven appearance. I’ll let you know how that’s coming along as time progresses.
Today is also National Cheddar Fries Day, National Lima Bean Respect Day (I didn’t realize we are a people who disrespect the Lima Bean) and finally National High Five Day. Since none of those National Days fit into today’s plan, I thought we’d focus more on the concept of Tuscan Thursday. Thursdays in our house, unless overruled by a Feast Day or other obligation (such as tonight’s potluck committee meeting), is that one night a week when we have Italian or Italian Inspired dishes. While I would hardly classify Conchiglie di pasta al Ragù as authentically Italian, the inspiration is clear.
My guys loved this super easy supper that will cook up in a single skillet. Clean up is a snap, the meal itself is filling, satisfying and just plain good. Toss a salad, sit down together and enjoy.
Conchiglie di pasta al Ragù
(Pasta Shells with Ragù)
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 cup Parsley, minced
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Mild Italian Sausage
1-1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
8 oz small Pasta Shells
2-1/2 cups Beef Stock
1 (16 oz) jar Tomato Pasta Sauce
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Pinch Ghost Pepper or Carolina Reaper Seasoning
Italian Cheese Blend optional finish
Set the cream cheese out on the counter, allow cheese to soften and come to room temperature. Peel and dice onion, set aside. Peel and mince garlic, set aside. Trim parsley, mince and set aside.
In a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef, sausage and onions. Break meat apart as it cooks, cook through, about 15 minutes. Drain any excess grease that may have accumulated in the skillet. Add minced garlic and Italian Seasoning. Stir to blend well, cook until fragrant, about a minute longer.
Stir in pasta, beef stock and pasta sauce. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of spice. Bring to a full boil. Lower heat to medium, cook until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cut cream cheese into a few smaller pieces, add to the pan. Stir until melted. Garnish with minced parsley. Serve and enjoy with additional Italian Cheese as desired.
Served with a simple salad for a nice, casual supper. The pasta can be transferred to a large serving bowl or served straight from the skillet for a rustic feel.
Blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe
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