Monday, January 16, 2012

Stuffed Shells

Last week my mother-in-law was on a cooking spree. We were over at her house three nights last week. She made spaghetti, fajitas and chicken with yellow rice. That being said, I didn't get the opportunity to cook much last week. When my dad and step-mom decided they were coming over last night, I jumped at the opportunity to make something I had never made before...stuffed shells. Buca di Beppo has the best stuffed shells my mouth has ever tasted and my goal was to make them as close to their stuffed shells as possible. I found a recipe online that looked similar and decided to try it out. It was delicious. One of my favorite meals that I have made so far.

Here are all the ingredients (excluding spices).

We were so anxious to try the stuffed shells that I forgot to take a picture
when they came out of the oven but took a picture of the leftovers I had for lunch today.
Still just as good the next day!
I will definitely be making this again. Here is the recipe I used.

Spicy Stuffed Shells
1 lb spicy Italian sausage (turkey or pork)
1 box of large pasta shells
1 32 oz carton of low fat Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
12 oz frozen spinach with the water squeezed out
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 quarts of your favorite pasta sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add the shells and cook for 15 minutes. The shells will not be done completely. Drain the shells and run cold water over them.
2. Put a large frying pan over medium heat, add the sausage and crushed red peppers (depending how spicy you want it you can use as little or as much red pepper as you desire) and cook sausage thoroughly, breaking into very small pieces.
3. In a large bowl combine the Ricotta cheese the shredded Italian cheese blend, garlic, basil, sausage and spinach then mix well.
4. Place 1/2 cup of pasta sauce into a 9x13 inch baking dish. With a spoon coat the bottom of the pan with the pasta sauce.
5. Take each pasta shell individually and stuff with the cheese mixture, it will take approximately 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture for each shell. Lay the shells into the pan coated with sauce, open side up. Continue until the baking dish if full. Pour what remains of the first quart of pasta sauce over the top of the shells. You will have enough ingredients to fill another pan so repeat the above steps.

6. Cover each baking dish in foil and place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.


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