Monday, February 16, 2015

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

The weather in our area has been crazy.  One day it will be sub-zero temperatures, with tons of snow and ice, and the next day it will be 60 degrees and sunny.  No wonder half of the Mid-Ohio Valley is down with the flu.  I have been lucky enough to escape the flu bug, but I HAVE been battling a nasty little sinus infection.  All I have wanted to do is curl up with blankets and sleep, but alas, we've got to eat.  It is in times like these that I am all for using shortcuts to create great meals.

One such meal in my house are my Stuffed Shells with Italian sausage, spinach, and ricotta.  They are super simple, can be assembled in no time, and are assured to be loved by all!

I can't wait to share it with you so let's get started!




Stuffed Shells:
*Prep Time: 10 min.  *Cook Time:  30 min.  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  18-20 Shells

Ingredients:




  • 1 box of Jumbo Shells
  • 1 lb. of Italian Sausage
  • 1 jar of Marinara Sauce
  • 1 15 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 c. Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
  • 1/4 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 c. Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.



To begin, place a large sauce pot over a medium/high heat and bring to a boil.  
Be sure to salt the water.  This is the only time you have to actually season the pasta.


Now place a small skillet over medium high heat, add 1-2 tbsp of oil to it, and allow the pan to get hot.


To the pan add the Italian sausage.  Cook the sausage until it is brown and no longer pink.


Once the sausage has finished cooking add the spinach and allow it to heat through.


Once the spinach has heated through and is incorporated into the sausage place both in a bowl to the side to cool.


By this time the water should be at a boil and you can add the shells.
Cook the shells according to the directions on the box.


Once the sausage has cooled, you can add the ricotta cheese,


Parmesan,


Lightly beaten egg,


Salt,


And pepper.


Mix it all together for the filling.


Once your shells have finished cooking, you can drain them and place on a paper towel.


Here is where I am taking a short cut.  Instead of taking the time to make my own marinara, I will use and jar of sauce.  It is super flavorful and will save me at lest 30 minutes in the kitchen.

Take half of the jar of sauce and pour into the bottom of your baking dish.


Next, place the shells into the pan.


Now, using a spoon or small scoop, stuff each shell with the sausage and cheese filling.


It will look like this!

**I have to apologize because apparently I didn't take pictures of this next part.**

Now you can pour the other half of the jar of sauce over the shells and top with the mozzarella.

Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.


Once out oven the oven you can add the chopped parsley over the top and VoilĂ !    You have dinner!

These shells are cheesy, gooey, and delicious!  It looks like you have been slaving away in the kitchen all evening, but let's face it, this dish couldn't be easier.  Sometimes it's okay to use a shortcut in the kitchen!  Sometimes you just need to! Don't worry, I'll never tell.

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
~The Kitchen Wife~

Stuffed Shells:
*Prep Time: 10 min.  *Cook Time:  30 min.  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  18-20 Shells

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Ingredients:
  • 1 box of Jumbo Shells
  • 1 lb. of Italian Sausage
  • 1 jar of Marinara Sauce
  • 1 15 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 c. Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
  • 1/4 c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 c. Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Parsley for garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place a large pot of water over medium/high heat and bring to a boil.  Be sure to add salt to the water. 
  3. Place a small skillet over medium/high heat.  Once the skillet is hot add a little oil and the Italian sausage.  Cook the sausage until brown and no longer pink.  
  4. To the sausage add the spinach.  Cook until heated through and incorporated into the sausage.
  5. Once heated through, remove from the skillet and place in a mixing bowl to cool. 
  6. By now the water should be boiling.  Add the jumbo shells and cook according to the directions on the box. 
  7. Once the shells have cooked, drain them from the water and place on a paper towel. 
  8. To the sausage and spinach you add the ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. 
  9. Mix together until smooth.  
  10. Now to a baking dish, pour half of the jar of sauce in the bottom. 
  11. Place the cooked shells into the baking dish. 
  12. Stuff the shells with the cheese filling.
  13. Pour the other half of the marinara sauce over the stuffed shells.
  14. Sprinkle the cheese over the shells.
  15. Place in the preheated oven. 
  16. Cook for 30 minutes.
  17. Sprinkle parsley over the shells.
  18. Serve and Enjoy! 

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