Yesterday afternoon we had some light snow showers. Our snow totals here in Michigan have not even eclipsed totals from last year. However, the snow was so pretty, it motivated me to make spinach stuffed shells. This is a recipe I found years ago, and has come through several variations over the years.
Since we try to avoid red meat sauce in lasagna or recipes like these shells, I tend to substitute other vegetables for the bulk of the recipe. These stuffed shells are very tasty and loaded with carbohydrates, but to keep warm on a snowy day, it just felt right.
This is a recipe for a crowd, or one to freeze for left overs. The pan will serve 8 people.
To make the spinach shells:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and then boil one box of jumbo pasta shells for 14 minutes. The box will indicate a longer boiling time, but the shells will bake in the oven completing their total cooking time.
While the shells are cooking, prepare the filling. In a bowl, add one 10 ounce package of frozen spinach that has been thawed and completely drained, to 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella, 15 ounces of ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese), 1-2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, salt, freshly ground pepper, and dried parsley flakes. Set aside. Open one jar of Barilla Marinara sauce.
When shells are done, drain and cool with running water to easily handle. Using a large lasagna pan for the recipe, which has been prepared with PAM, begin to prepare the shells. Taking each shell, fill with 1-2 tablespoons of mixture and place the shells into pan. When all the shells are done, cover with pasta sauce. And, top with another 3-4 ounces of shredded mozzarella and 1-2 ounces of Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until bubbly.
Serve with a tossed salad and if desired, garlic toast.
I had the opportunity to test out AYL silicone grill gloves while baking these recipe. The non-slip gloves are perfect for baking or grilling and withstand heat up to 425 degrees. Usually large full pans of pasta are difficult to carry when hot from the oven, but these gloves worked perfectly.
For more information on silicone gloves, follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/AYL%C2%AE-Silicone-Resistant-Grilling-Gloves/dp/B00PBWAK8Y