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Hamburger and Shells Italia

This is a casserole your family will enjoy over and over again.  Just add a salad and bread and you have a meal.

2 cups medium sized pasta shells, uncooked
1 pound hamburger
1 small onion, chopped or 1 cup
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (could use Oregano, too)
1 teaspoon salt
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (13.25 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
2 cups small curd cottage cheese                       
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (can use cheese of your choice)
Cook the pasta shells according to package directions to the al dente stage, drain and set aside.  In a skillet brown the hamburger and onion, add pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and mushrooms.   Drain hamburger.  Add the shells to the hamburger mixture along with the tomato sauce.  Spray a 2 quart casserole dish.  Spread a layer of the hamburger in the bottom of the dish.  Spread a cup of the cottage cheese over the hamburger followed by a cup of the shredded cheese.  Add a second layer ending with cheese on top.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven about 35 to 40 minutes until bubbly.  Makes about 8 to 10 servings.  Enjoy!
This is a great comfort food.  We love this recipe.
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Hamburger Supreme Casserole.
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  1. What it be possible to substitute mozzarella cheese for the cottage cheese?

  2. I love getting your weekly email and you will NEVER fall from my Facebook feed! One question on this meal – is there a suitable substitute for cottage cheese? If so, same amount? Thanks for the great ideas.

    • The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much Jan for your comment. We are so happy you are enjoying the newsletters and the site. I hope you are having a good weekend. You might try ricotta cheese in the recipe that is the only thing I can think of but I have not tried it in anyway but the recipe. Yes, I would use the same amount. If you try it, let us know how it turns out.

  3. I made this for supper tonight and it was good! I added green pepper for extra taste. It was very soupy but we didn’t have time to let it sit before we ate it, so I’m sure that would have helped. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Question: Do you cook it in the oven covered or uncovered? Also, will a small pyrex dish suffice??

  5. Blanche Bryant says:

    I wonder how you could make this ahead (before work) and cook later?

    • My mother made this with Velveeta cheese and I made it for my family – make it the night before and cover with saran wrap or tin foil or I use to make 2 at a time and freeze one for later .Actually mixed a small jar of cheese whiz melted in the tomato sauce, mixed everything together and topped with the shredded Velveeta. The one I froze I didn’t add the top layer of cheese until I was ready to bake it. My kids loved it and seeing this recipe & picture makes this 71 yr old want to make it again

  6. i love this site an her rec.thanks again.

  7. Made this for dinner tonight. My picky eater went back for seconds even. 🙂 I took apic but it doesn’t do it justice. Will be adding to mine and also my daughter’s recipe box.

  8. can you use regatta cheese in this instead of cottage cheese?

  9. We make a dish very much like this..We season the cottage cheese with a little black pepper and oregano. Always double the recipe and freeze the extra, for those nights when everyone is busy.. Love your site an family style recipes.

  10. what does al dente mean?

  11. Could this be made and divided into smaller quantities and frozen?

  12. What is curd cottage cheese ??

    • The Southern Lady says:

      It is what you get when the milk curdles and makes particles. There is a small curd cottage cheese and a large curd.

  13. Just love your recipes here in Britain. Thank you so much

  14. Going to try this,,we are big pasta eaters and always need left overers for Hubby’s lunch the next day! Anything with hamburger here 😉

  15. I make this but I add a can of drained whole kernel corn to the hamburger .

  16. Another great meal! Love the cheddar cheese topping, but it also makes me want to make baked zitti! I always use ricotta, but I know some people prefer cottage cheese, cheaper and moister.

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