Shells stuffed with spinach and three cheeses cooked in a fabulous tomato sauce with either Italian or chicken sausage. It makes enough for two dinners, one to enjoy and one to share or freeze for later.
Keyword: ricotta cheese, shells, spinach
12ouncebox jumbo pasta shells
1lb.Italian sausagepork or chicken, casings removed
1small onionfinely chopped
¼teaspoonred pepper flakes
10ouncesfrozen spinachthawed and squeezed dry
Cook pasta, drain and sprinkle with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together, let cool.
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray two 9 x 13 baking dishes with cooking spray.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and once it's hot, add sausage and cook until browned, stirring and breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, Italian seasoning, sugar and 1/2 cup water, and simmer on medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Add salt as needed.
Mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan, eggs, and 1 cup mozzarella in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and stir until combined.
Spread most of the sauce on the bottom of the prepared dishes. Stuff shells with about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture and place in the pans. Cover with additional sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, removing the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking.
If you want to freeze the second dish, let it come to room temperature and then cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Let thaw completely in the refrigerator and bake as above.