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Cheese Stuffed Shells with Fullblood Wagyu Ground Beef and Tomato Basil Sauce
Prep Time: 90 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Difficulty Level: 2
(Levels: 1-5 with 5 being most difficult)
Recipe provided by Chef Melanie Hammericksen
Take the Fullblood Wagyu ground beef from the freezer, and place it in the refrigerator 24 hours before starting this recipe.
PREPARING THE HOMEMADE RICOTTA CHEESE
Line a large sieve with a layer of heavy duty (fine mesh) cheesecloth. Place it over a large bowl.
In a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, slowly bring the milk, cream, and salt to a rolling boil.
Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.
Add the lemon juice.
Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer, while stirring constantly, until the mixture curdles. This usually takes about 2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into the lined sieve. Let it drain for 1 hour.
After discarding the liquid, cover and chill the ricotta cheese. It will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.
PREPARING THE SAUCE
Heat a large stainless steel sauce pan on medium-high heat.
Add in the grapeseed oil, and let it get hot.
Add in the Fullblood Wagyu ground beef in pieces, and let them sear to a nice golden brown.
Once the beef has browned, use a wooden spoon to break up the ground beef into small pieces in the pan.
Cook for 5 minutes.
Add in the onion, and mix it into the Fullblood Wagyu beef. Let this mixture cook until the onion is translucent.
Then, add in the tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes, while stirring, to caramelize.
Once caramelized, add in the red wine, and deglaze the pan.
Once the red wine is reduced by half, add in the crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, and sherry vinegar.
Turn down the heat to low, and let the sauce simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
Fold in fresh basil, and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
In two large casserole dishes, divide up the Fullblood Wagyu beef sauce. Spread the sauce to cover the dish bottoms.
Set aside to let cool.
PREPARING THE PASTA
In a large pot, heat one gallon of water with 3 tablespoons of kosher salt.
Cook the jumbo shells pasta for 9 minutes in the boiling water.
Drain, and rinse with cold water.
PREPARING THE CHEESE FILLING
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Mix all of the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the shredded parmesan cheese, and the shredded mozzarella cheese in a large bowl.
Mix in the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fill each jumbo shell with the cheese filling.
Place the cheese-filled jumbo shells on the Fullblood Wagyu beef sauce in the casserole dishes.
Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top.
Place the casserole dishes in the preheated oven, and bake for 40 minutes or until lightly caramelized and bubbly.
Serve warm, and enjoy!
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