Thursday, September 11, 2008
Carl has often complained that he thought he was getting himself an Italian girl, but this isn't what he expected. Well, I am Italian by genetics, but hardly in the kitchen. I promised him I would work on it. Part of the problem is I hate meat in my pasta- but stuffed shells are easily made without meat and still hearty enough to handle Carl's appetite. I served this with a light spinach salad and some Texas Toast. All it needed was a glass of wine, but Carl had already poured the milk :(
* 18 jumbo pasta shells (I use Barilla brand)
* 1 container (15 ounces) part skim Ricotta
* 1 package frozen spinach chopped, thawed, and drained and squeezed dry
* 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
* 3/4 cup half and half (divided)
* 1 garlic clove pressed
* 1/2 tsp. dried basil
* 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
* 1/8 tsp. salt
* 28 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350, cook pasta according to directions, drain.
2. Mix ricotta, spinach, 1 1/2 cups of Italian cheese, 1/4 cup of Parmesan, and 1/4 cup of half and half. Press in garlic and seasonings. Mix well.
3. In another bowl whisk the rest of spaghetti sauce with remaining half and half. Pour half of sauce mix on bottom of cooking pan. Fill each shell with ricotta mixture, I use my medium Pampered Chef scoop- its perfect!. Arrange filled shells in baking pan. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce.
4. Cover with foil, bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, top dish with remaining 1/2 cup of Italian cheese. Bake uncovered an additional 5 min. Let cool for 10 min. before serving. Enjoy!
Yield: 6 Servings
Notes: I actually used fresh spinach and just chopped it in my mini processor. Not sure if it made any difference, but I had a big thing of spinach that I needed to use. I also doubled the garlic...naturally!