Thanks for inspiration Ray Ray! I also took a cue from Gourmet for the butternut squash sauce. But I changed that up, too. I'm not one for following instructions.
There are three components to this - the shells, the sausage marinara, and the butternut squash sauce.
One: The Shells
- One box of shells
- 2 cups fat free ricotta
- 2/3 c. shredded parmesan
- 1/3 c. grated romano
- 1 egg
- 1/2 bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
- 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the other ingredients.
- Set in the fridge for about one hour before you start stuffing shells so that the spices have some time to soak in to the cheese
- Cook shells according to box instructions - you want them just short of al dente since you will be finishing them in the oven. Nobody likes mushy pasta.
- When the pasta is done cooking, drain and dump on to a baking sheet to cool.
- Once they are cool enough to handle, stuff each shell with 2 tbsp of ricotta mixture
- Arrange in a 9x13 baking dish and wait patiently for sauce
- Pour sauce over shells - be generous - and make sure to get the edges so pasta doesn't dry out
- Bake uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly
|nutmeg looks like brains!|
- One package of your favorite italian sausage - I like hot turkey, but sweet or any other meat tastes great too
- Two 28 oz. cans marinara sauce from trader joes. No corner cutting, people. :)
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1 c. red wine - 3/4 c for drinking while cooking, 1/4 c. for actual cooking
- In a large, deep frying pan, brown sausage
- Dump in marinara sauce, reduce heat to simmer
- Add in italian seasoning and red wine
- Simmer and stir occasionally for 10 minutes
- Great on pasta, lasagna, stuffed shells, with italian sandwiches, over eggs, over garlic bread, etc.
I was too busy stuffing shells to take pics, but picture yumminess in your head.
Butternut Squash Sage Sauce
- 1 lb butternut squash, roughly chopped and finely diced by food processor
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp fresh chopped sage
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped italian parsley
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- pepper to taste
- Heat oil over medium high heat
- Saute onions until soft and starting to get brown
- Dump in squash, and water, cover and reduce heat to medium
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until squash is fully cooked
- Either using a blender or batches in a food processor, puree 3/4 of the squash onion mixture. If you don't want texture, puree it all. I like texture.
- Reduce heat to low, stir in herbs, parm, and pepper to taste
- SOOOOOOO good.
I am going to go eat another round of these shells for leftovers now :)