Hello darling Through the Eyes of the Mrs, readers! Hungry today? Well, I certainly have something that could easily fill the plates of your family at dinnertime. Emphasis on easy :)
When I was growing up, I remember my Mom stuffing shell after shell Sunday morning. She'd fill each one with a beautiful mixture of cheeses, only to be smothered in fresh marinara sauce and another layer of mozzarella. Sometimes she let me steal an empty cooked shell or two in the process. It was her signature dish, and I remember having my friends over for a formal dinner one night. After that, instead of calling the dish Manicotti Shells, it then and forevermore became Mandycotti to them. The shells were amazing, and whenever I make any kind kind of shells, I think of her, and those incredible shells she makes.
These shells are a little different, and have quite the tasty twist. Instead of sticking to only cheese on the inside, I stuffed these little lovers with savory spinach and a heaping portion of fresh spinach. I love watching spinach cook. It starts off in a giant heap, and just like magic, it cooks down - halving it's own size right before your eyes!
The family LOVED these. They could almost be used as an appetizer, too. There's no sauce on the outside, but the insides are so packed with moist flavor, you won't miss it for a second. Makes for easy finger food :)
Hello easy holiday cooking, right? :)
Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Shells
makes 6 servings
16-18 jumbo pasta shells
1 lb pork sausage
1 T minced garlic
14oz can of diced tomatoes
2 C fresh spinach, chopped
6oz ricotta cheese
2/3 C shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions on package. While pasta is boiling, fill a large bowl halfway with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. Drain pasta and pour cooked pasta into cold water to sit until they're stuffed.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork sausage and cook, breaking it up until thoroughly browned. Add garlic and cook about a minute, then add tomatoes and spinach. Spinach will cook down, trust me. Cook about 2 minutes, then remove pan from heat.
3. Stir in ricotta and 1/3 C mozzarella. Using a spoon, fill pasta shells with pork filling and place in a baking dish (mine was about 9x4). Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until tops of shells begin to get nice and crispy.
recipe adapted from: inspiredtaste