Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

March 24, 2009 at 7:08 pm 3 comments

I love meals that can feed an army. This meal in particular could feed a large crowd, be used for several meals and/or lunches, or be thrown in the freezer and used another day. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad stuffed shell recipe, but the flavors in this one are especially great. In lieu of traditional marinara sauce chopped tomatoes are used. I enjoy marinara sauce with my pasta and was a little nervous. I stuck with the recipe as is and am glad I did. The tomatoes were a perfect topping and let the sausage and spinach really shine through.

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells
1 12-oz package jumbo pasta shells
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes with herbs, including the liquid

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Salt water and cook pasta shells according to package directions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the sausage to the pan, and cook through breaking into smaller pieces.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, basil, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Add the cooked sausage mixture to the bowl and stir until evenly mixed.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Spread a thin layer of the chopped tomatoes in a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with some of the sausage and cheese mixture (I like to use a pastry bag for easy filling), and arrange in the baking dishes, open side up.  Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top of the pasta shells.

Cover the pans with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling.  Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes.  

Source: Annie’s Eats


Entry filed under: main dish, Pasta.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amanda  |  May 28, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Found your blog somehow and made this last week – my husband said it was the best thing ever and I agree. thanks!

  • 2. la petite chef  |  June 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    LOVE THESE!! thanks for the recipe!! I love stuffed shells!

  • 3. Audra  |  March 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I made these lastnight and they were very yummy! Todd doesn’t like spinach so I made 1/2 of the shells without spinach and 1/2 with and both ways were very delicious.

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