2.10.2010

Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach


People comment on my blog posts. I don't get hundreds of comments like The Pioneer Woman or Smitten Kitchen, but I do get some comments. Some readers say they like my recipes or photographs. Others give me feedback on a certain recipe that they have tried. Still other readers relate to the story behind one of my recipes and then give me a little insight into themselves.

Personally, I do not know the people who comment on my blog. I only know my readers through the cyber world and many of them now seem like old friends. I did meet one person who reads my blog. By chance, we were both at a taping of The Martha Stewart Show. She recognized me from my profile picture. Kinda weird and kinda freaky.

I like reading the comments posted on my blog, and it feels like a warm hug. Realizing I am helping at least a few people get dinner on the table is a satisfying feeling. For some people, dinner time is very stressful and if I can do a little bit to make it less of a chore and more enjoyable, my blog is a success.

I received an email not to long ago from a reader inquiring if I had a delicious stuffed shells recipe. Little did this reader know that Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach is an almost weekly request from my clients - especially during the blustery, snowy, and long winter season. One client commented that it is the perfect meal with each shell holding its own complete meal.

With our latest blast of snow and bone-chilling temperatures, I whipped up a batch of stuffed shells on a recent school cancelling snowy day. Along with my kids, a favorite Guest Eater - Two Scoops - spent the day at our house and joined us for dinner. All were thrilled when finding out what was on tap for dinner except for No Thank You Boy. He choose to devour 2 bowls of pasta with marinara sauce.


Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach is a warm-you-to-the-bones meal that is a perfect make ahead entree. This recipe is for you Angela!!



Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach

I use Barilla Jumbo Shell Pasta. There are about 35+ shells per box. My recipe calls for sweet Italian turkey sausage but feel free to substitute your favorite kind of Italian sausage.

serves 6 with leftovers

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 stalks of fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
1+ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente rinsed with cold water and set aside
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the sauce, saute onions in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until transparent. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and sugar and simmer sauce for about 20 - 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the sausage, spinach, ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, spread about 1 cup of the sauce. Fill each shell with the cheese mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Top the filled shells with another generous cup of the sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake for about 25 - 35 minutes until bubbly and hot. Serve with remaining marinara sauce, if desired.

Serve with a tossed salad of romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, slice peppercinis, and Parmesan cheese with a balsamic dressing and a big basket of garlicky toasted Italian bread.


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6 comments:

teresa said...

i sure love your blog! these shells look amazing, i have half a mind to make them tonight!

Kevin M. said...

You have awesome blog postings. Delicious food and fun write ups.

But your pictures need more POP!

PW is amazing in the photo department...

EAT! said...

Hey Kevin M. - yeah I know my photos stink most of the time. I make my recipes for my posts usually at dinner time so I am usually fighting off my hungry family. I don't "stage" my recipes and am more interested in presenting my recipes in real time.

I am going for more of the "real world" aspect of getting dinner on the table. Hopefully others who have busy days with family, work, etc. will see that my recipes are unique and easy to make because they are made by someone just like them.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

Bellini Valli said...

I enjoy coming to read your blog for many reasons. Keep up the delicious recipes and "warm hug" feeling.

Trisha said...

I am one of those people that doesn't comment very often but I will try and work on that ;)

These look delicious, will definitely go on my menu plan soon!

Anonymous said...

You have my favorite food blog and I read a lot of them. In my house, I refer to you as "my lady". My husband gets all excited when its one of your recipes because I have yet to try one that hasn't come out amazingly well. I just smile and say "my lady never lets me down ".

I will be trying these tomorrow night :)