Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Spinach & 4 Cheese Stuffed Shells

There are a few meals that I could make every week, and I swear Paul would not get sick of them.  This just happens to be one of them.  I have made these stuffed shells more times than any other meal since we have been married!  This is a great meal to prep a few hours ahead of company arriving so all you have to do it stick it in the oven and go, and to be honest they are really not difficult.




Ingredients:
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 - 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
1-2 cups spaghetti sauce
2 tablespoons chives (I use dried)
1 tsp garlic powder
15-20 uncooked jumbo shells (how many shells you need depends of how full you stuff your shells,  I tend to under fill because a certain someone won't eat the delicious cheese that fall out of the shell if they are overfilled)

Cook pasta according to package directions, but slightly undercook 1-2 minutes.  I find that this makes the shells easier to stuff, plus they have some cook time in the oven to finish.

In a small bowl combine, 1/2 cup mozzarella, asiago cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, chives, garlic and spinach, mix.

Spread a small portion of spaghetti sauce into a shallow baking dish, large enough for all your shells.  I use just enough sauce to cover the bottom.

Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, & stuff shells with cheese mixture.  Arrange them in the baking dish, and top with remaining mozzarella cheese and your desired amount of pasta sauce.

Cover and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through.  If you have put these in the fridge, they are going to take longer, I typically add 10-15 minutes for this (I did have to cook for an additional 20 minutes once at someone else's apartment... but that was just a terrible oven)

I like the amount this makes, we eat leftovers the next day, and then the next day again.  Hey, sometimes I don't feel like cooking.   But, if you are not a leftovers person this recipe is easily cut in half!

Where we are now we have limited freezer space, but as soon as we get our own pad with a hopefully larger freezer I am looking at turning this one into a freezer meal.  I have given to friends with newborns as well as those in mourning.  Pasta comforts all!


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