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Spinach/Prosciutto and Butternut/Sausage Stuffed Shells

Posted Sep 28 2009 10:39pm

For the entree portion of my Bertolli meal, I chose to make two varities of stuffed shells. I wanted to try all of their sauces, but settled with two. I let JJ choose one and then I chose one. He wanted to try the Vodka Sauce and I wanted to try the Fire Roasted Tomato with Cabernet Sauvignon.
As I've said time and time again, I love pairing sweet and savory in dishes. When I chose the fillings to pair with the sauces, I took that approach - sweet and savory.


The first variety was Spinach and Prosciutto Stuffed Shells in Vodka Sauce. I didn't think the vodka flavor was very strong, but the sauce was creamy and sweet with a nice tomato flavor. The shells were salty and earthy from the prosciutto and fresh spinach. JJ liked this combination more, I think mostly because he loves prosciutto!

Spinach and Prosciutto Stuffed Shells in Vodka Sauce

1 lb. jumbo shells pasta
1 jar of Bertolli Vodka Sauce
4 cups of spinach, chopped
1/3 lb. thick sliced prosciutto
2 cups ricotta
1 egg
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated romano cheese, separated
Parsley, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt heavily, drop in pasta.
Cook for about 7-8 minutes, until very al dente (makes stuffing and sitting easier).
Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add spinach, wilt and cook off liquid for about 5 minutes.
Add spinach to a mixing bowl, drain water out of skillet.
Julienne prosciutto, add to skillet and render fat, cook until crisp, about 8 minutes.
Add to the mixing bowl with spinach.
Add ricotta, salt, pepper, egg and half the romano cheese, mix well.
Pour sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish.
Spoon mixture into shells, place in baking dish, top with cheese, cover with foil.
Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes, uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.


For the other type of stuffed shells, I decided to do something a little different. I bought a 6 lb. butternut squash for $2 at the farmers market, and decided to get some squash into the shells somehow. I love pairing pumpkin and sausage, so I thought butternut seemed interchangable. I used turkey sausage to keep the dish healthier. I cooked these shells in the Fire Roasted Tomato and Cabernet Sauvignon sauce. Oh.my.gosh, this sauce is delicious! I rarely buy jarred sauce, but this I would buy again. The flavor was outstanding, it was fresh, sweet, smoky, and the wine added such depth of flavor. It really held up to the butternut and sausage, but didn't overpower them.


Butternut Squash and Sausage Stuffed Shells with Fire Roasted Tomato and Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce

1 lb. jumbo shells pasta
1 jar Bertolli Fire Roasted Tomato and Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce
2 cups small diced butternut squash
1/2 lb. bulk turkey sausage
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup romano cheese, separated
Salt and pepper
Basil or parsley, for garnish

Add squash to a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with EVOO, toss.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt heavily, add pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
Brown sausage in a skillet, when cooked through, add to a mixing bowl.
Add ricotta, egg, salt, pepper and half the romano to the bowl. Toss well.
Fold squash into ricotta mixture.
Spread sauce into a baking dish.
Spoon mixture into shells, place in baking dish.
Cover with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 15 minutes, uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve with parsley or basil.
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