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Hide the Spinach in this Deliciousness

Posted Feb 10 2011 9:26am

I got back in my cooking groove yesterday, but first an important news update:

Have you SEEN the new ketchup packets at Chick-fil-a?

Photo Feb 10, 8 37 50 AM

Photo Feb 10, 8 52 13 AM

It’s ok if your jaw drops- mine did.  They are dip-able OR squeezable.  Brilliant.

In other news, c’mon Groundhog, what is this?!


The dusting is pretty, but I’m over my Uggs.  There, I said it.  Bring on spring… even if it means allergies.

But back to my adventures in the kitchen!  I decided to attempt a new recipe for me last night- stuffed shells!  I came across a recipe from the Pioneer Woman , and made a few alterations to healthify it a bit…

Here’s that you need, with my alterations in purple.

  • 8 ounces, weight Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 30 ounces, weight Whole Milk Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
  • ½ cups Grated Romano Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 12 leaves Basil, Chiffonade Dried Basil
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley Dried Parsley
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ pounds Italian Sausage almost 3/4 lb all natural ground beef
  • ½ cups Red Wine
  • 1 whole 28 Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 whole 15-ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
  • 1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out


Chop up the onion and add it into a large skillet with the olive oil and garlic.


Sauté for a couple minutes, then add your meat. (check out the price-score!)

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Break up the meat into little pieces and brown.  Spoon out some of the grease if you’d like, but since mine was 90% lean, I left it in there for flavor.

Add your crushed tomatoes, salt and sugar.


Mix well, add some crushed red pepper if you’d like.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for 25 minutes.


Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water.  Add your shells and cook half the time (only 6 minutes).


You want the shells al dente, so after 5-6 minutes, drain and rinse them with cold water.  Set them aside to cool.


Then grab a large bowl for your ricotta. (Looks like cheesecake… Mmm!)


Add your egg,


1/2 your parmesan and all your romano,


and some (to your liking) parsley and basil.


Mix well.


Add your spinach and mix well again.



Get your dishes ready! Cover the bottom of each dish with a layer of sauce.


Spoon the mixture into each shell…


And place open-side-down in dish.


Repeat, repeat, repeat.


Cover with sauce and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.


Then stick the dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  I baked one and wrapped the other one up for the freezer- love when I have extra leftover for dinner another day.

Once you  pull it out of the oven, it will be bubbly and your house will smell amazing!


Serve immediately. Because you’ll be HUNGRY.



And I’m so excited I have another night’s dinner sitting in the freezer at my disposal :)

Sorry for the picture overload on this post, but I wanted to show each step.

Happy Thursday All! Let’s hope that groundhog wasn’t lying about spring being on it’s way… :P

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