Sunday, November 29, 2009

Spicy Sausage Stuffed Shells

I was feeling rather adventurous today and thought it'd be fun to cook something from scratch. After eating turkey for the last 3 days, I figured pasta was the way to go! I've always wanted to try making stuffed shells, but after seeing various recipes, I always changed my mind (due to not really wanting to put in that much effort into a dish.) Little did I know, these are actually pretty easy to make.

Spicy Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells

1 box jumbo shells

1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage

1 clove garlic (3/4 piece for meat, 1/4 piece for spinach)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes (pulsed in food processor or blender until smooth)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped

Pinch of salt

32oz container of Ricotta Cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 egg

Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Place sausage into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned and crumbled. Drain and return back to skillet. Stir in garlic over medium heat for 1 minute then add in red pepper flakes, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer.

3. Place olive oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in spinach and garlic. Cook until wilted down. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in Ricotta, Parmesan, Mozzarella, egg, salt and pepper; mix well.

4. Spoon about 1/2 cup pasta sauce into bottom of 2 9×13 inch baking dishes.

5. Drop 1 piece of spicy sausage from sauce mix into cooked shell then spoon ricotta filling (about 2 tbsps,) then place shells seam side down into baking dishes.

6. Top shells evenly with sauce then shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

I have to admit that this recipe made enough food to feed 8 to 10 people. I froze quite a bit to eat at a later date

Recipe adapted from Picky-Palate

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