A few days ago, one of our neighbors pasted away. The following day, all of his children and grandchildren arrived, that made for a very full house. In Hawaii, its customary to take food to the home of the dearly departed, as I’m sure that is the case in many parts of the Country. Now, mind you, I’m not talking about a plate of cookies or such, we’re talking about a full blown meal for the entire crowd. But what to make here on the Mainland? I was on Pinterest and saw a bunch of pins for Stuffed Shells, okay, that’s like Lasagna; I’ve never made this before. My husband was very excited, knowing that he’d get some too.
Italian Sausage-Spinach-Cheese Stuffed Shells
1 box jumbo Pasta Shells
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ C. Onion, minced
¾ lb. bulk Sweet Italian Sausage
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 (15 oz.) container Ricotta cheese
9 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
¼ C. Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
¾ C. Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
6 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, grated and divided
½ tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. ground Black Pepper
32 oz. Marinara, more if needed
Cook the pasta as directed on the box. Drain and place on a greased sheet pan.
In a large skillet, heat the Olive Oil over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic to just translucent; add the Sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon and brown well, transfer to a large mixing bowl, leaving behind any grease.
To the bowl add the Egg, Ricotta Cheese, Spinach, Parsley, Nutmeg, ½ cup of Parmesan Cheese and 4 ounces of the Mozzarella Cheese; combine well. Fill a zip top plastic bag with the filling mixture and snip a corner of the bag, making a hole large enough to pipe it into the cooked Shells. Carefully fill each Shell; roll it into itself to resemble a shell. In a 9X13 inch baking dish, spread about a cup on the bottom, arrange the filled Shells and pour enough Marinara to just cover the Shells (that’s why I say “more if needed”).
Cover the dish tightly with Aluminum Foil and bake in a preheated 350⁰ oven for 30 minutes. Uncover the baking dish and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheeses and bake for another 10 minutes.
As you can see above, I made a larger dish of Shells for DH. The two smaller pans went to our neighbor’s home with cooking instructions as well as the makings for Salad, Garlic Bread and a bottle of wine for the adults, all packed into a large basket for transport.