Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spinach Stuffed Shells

I've been looking for a good stuffed shell recipe for a while.  I adjusted this one from Real Mom Kitchen a bit so that the ingredients didn't require measuring, and I added a little salt.  I made this without the egg and it held up fine.  Better yet, I made the whole match in 2 9x9 baking dishes and froze one, which we ate a week later because we all loved it.

Spinach Stuffed Shells
adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

1 (12 oz) box of jumbo pasta shells there will be left over shells
1 (16 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 lb mozzarella, shredded the usual mozzarella ball you buy in the grocery store
1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb ricotta cheese we used whole milk
1 egg optional
1/2 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
1 and 1/2 medium sized glass jars of Ragu spaghetti sauce

1. Place spinach in a clean dish towel and squeeze any excess liquid.
2. Cook shells according to package directions, drain, and cool shells for a few minutes.
3. In a large bowl, mix spinach, mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, ricotta and egg with salt and pepper.
4. Scoop approximately 1 1/2 T of cheese mixture into each shell.  I think I probably did more than this...all I know is I stuffed as much of that cheesy goodness into each shell as I could and still had a bit leftover.
5. In 2 9x9 baking dishes, spread a couple spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of each dish.
6. Place half of the shells in each of the baking dishes.  Pour half of the remaining sauce over one dish of shells and pour the rest over the other dish.  Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese.
7. Cover dishes with foil and bake one and freeze the other.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly.

To prepare the frozen dish, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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