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Sausage and Arugula Stuffed Shells

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Italian sausage, garlic wilted arugula, creamy ricotta and fresh mozzarella stuffed shells covered with a homemade chunky tomato sauce.
Course Mains & Entrees
Cuisine Italian
Keyword arugula, baked pasta, italian sausage, pasta, ricotta, stuffed shells
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 607
Author Laurie McNamara



  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes with basil
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano ground in palm
  • pinch of sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt more or less to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 16 ounces jumbo shells
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage casings removed (and discard) and crumbled
  • 6 ounces fresh arugula tough stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 3 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella diced into 1/2 inch cubes (or about 1 heaping cup)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  • Fill a large pot with water and season with a tablespoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil, drop in the pasta and cook 2 minutes less than directed on the package. In the meantime, lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Drain the pasta and place pasta on the prepared pan.
  • Meanwhile add the whole tomatoes and basil to a food processor, pulse until chunky. Combine the tomatoes with the liquids in the can in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup.
  • Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet and cook the crumbled sausage until browned and no longer pink. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked sausage to a bowl.
  • Add diced shallot and 3 cloves of minced garlic to the fat in the pan and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add in the 1/2 teaspoon of oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes. Remove and transfer to a clean bowl and wipe the pan out with paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan along with the two remaining cloves of garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes before adding in the arugula and a pinch of salt. Cook until wilted and then transfer to the bowl with the Italian sausage. Allow to cool.
  • To the bowl with the sausage and arugula, add in the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan and beaten egg. Mix until combined and then use teaspoons to fill each shell.
  • Pour 2/3 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a large baking pan and spread it around. Place the shells side-by-side and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan, cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 1771mg | Potassium: 615mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1291IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 468mg | Iron: 3mg