Friday, August 19, 2011

Stuffed Shells

After we got married Sharon, my mother-in-law, who is an amazing cook shared with me favorite family recipes and this is one of them! I did edit the recipe a bit to add spinach and sausage to make it a bit more hearty for my husband. Every time I make it, I put a pan of shells in the oven and one in the freezer...and this time I doubled it making FOUR pans of shells (one for dinner, one for Chris to take back to Cleveland and two for the freezer).

My treasured family cook book:

1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 lb of spicy Italian bulk sausage
1/2 package of jumbo pasta shells
1-27oz jar marinara sauce
1 egg
15 oz ricotta
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley, fresh and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

This is how we chose to package our sausage, we bought bulk pork and beef this year. I love knowing where my food comes from!

Start by sauteing sausage in skillet and once almost done, add drained spinach and cook until done. Remove from heat to cool.

Cook pasta shells according to package directions, drain. Spray bottom of baking dishes with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl beat egg. Stir in ricotta, spinach and sausage mixture, parsley and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.

Spread one cup of sauce in bottom of baking dish. Fill cooked shells with filling mixture and arrange in baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce over shells.

Top with remaining cheeses.

If you are putting a dish into the freezer, this is my method: write directions on the foil with a Sharpie so if the husband is the one in charge of dinner, the instructions are attached. (I learned this trick making meals for other military families when babies were born, people were sick, ect).

Bake, covered in foil, until bubbly, about 45 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.

Finished product (well, this is what it would look like if your husband got stuck in traffic and you got side-tracked by another project and cooked it for 1.5 hours...oops)

But it still tasted yummy :)

What are your favorite family recipes? I'm always looking for new ones to try:)


Steve and Sharon said...

Looks oh so good. Glad you enjoy the cookbook, I really enjoyed putting it together for you. Mom Kimmet

Cari Bear said...

My favorite is Chicken Paprikas. It's a bit of work to make, but labor is much easier with a Kitchenaide mixer than what I remember seeing my Busia crank out when we were young. I will drop it in the mail to you sometime soon!

Sonya said...

Please send recipe Cari :) Sounds amazing!