Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baked Spinach, Ricotta and Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells



Half a box of shells and a bunch of Basic Tomato Sauce leftover means I get to make some more stuffed shells! The last ones were really good, but on a continuous quest to try new recipes, I looked around at options. The only thing I found more attractive about the other stuffed shells recipe Yonetta had pinned was that it had sausage. 

Baked Spinach, Ricotta and Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells
adapted from Whole Foods Market recipes 
click to print

18-20 jumbo pasta shells, about 6 oz.
10 oz baby spinach
8 oz hot Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 1/2 c Basic Tomato Sauce

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.


Drain well then place them on a baking sheet or dish such that they don't touch each other; set aside.


Meanwhile, gently warm cold sauce.


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place garlic, ricotta, 6 ounces mozzarella, egg, and basil in medium bowl.

Put spinach into a large skillet. Cover and cook over medium low heat, tossing occasionally, until just wilted; drain well.


When cool enough to handle, squeeze to remove any excess water. Chop spinach and add to cheeses.

Cook sausage in skillet over medium heat until browned. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon and combine with cheeses, egg, and spinach.


Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce in the bottom of a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the shells in a single layer.

Fill each shell with spinach-sausage mixture and arrange in the dish.


Pour remaining sauce over and around the stuffed shells and top with remaining 2 ounces of mozzarella.


Cover with foil and bake until hot throughout, 20 to 30 minutes, then uncover and continue baking about 10 minutes more or until golden brown.

Again, no golden brown.


Oh yeah, these are really good. I could eat these all day long. This worked out very well and is certainly the way to go if you're one of those that don't think it's a meal without meat. I particularly liked the hot sausage here, it gave the dish a little sizzle.

Cost:
  • jumbo pasta shells: $1.30
  • baby spinach: $2.99
  • Italian sausage: $2
  • garlic: $0.08
  • ricotta cheese: $2
  • mozzarella cheese: $2
  • egg: $0.35
  • basil: MINE
  • Basic Tomato Sauce: $1.50
Total: $12.22 or about $3.06 for each of four servings.

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