Now that you can dice an onion like a pro (watch Tuesday’s video here), it’s time to put your skills to the test with a warm weeknight classic: Stuffed Shells. It’s been raining in South Florida all week, and a plate of comforting pasta was just what I needed to inspire this week’s Stupid Good Summer School recipe. The onions come into play here by boosting the flavor of the wilted spinach, balancing the heavy ricotta and sausage filling. This recipe definitely makes leftovers, so invite some friends over or be prepared to bring this to lunch all week.
Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Shells
- 1/2 pound boxed jumbo shells
- 1/2 pound sausage
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella or italian blend cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
- 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shells and stir, cooking until al dente (the noodles should still have a slight bite, the oven will finish the noodles). After draining the pasta water, run cool water over the noodles so that you can handle them.
- In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the sausage. If you bought sausage in the casing, remove the meat or you can buy straight up sausage meat to avoid this step. Break up the sausage with your spoon to get small pieces and remove from the pan when it is fully cooked.
- While the sausage is cooking, mix together the cheeses, salt, and parsley in a small bowl.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and add diced onions. Cook until you have sweat the onions, or drawn enough moisture out of them to take out their sharp bite. Add the garlic, stir, and then add spinach. Remove from the pan once your spinach is wilted.
- Time to arrange your pasta! In a 9×9″ dish, pour the spaghetti sauce and spread along the bottom. Take one shell and fill with a small spoonful of cheese mixture and some sausage, keeping in mind that you have a few shells to spread it amongst. Put the shell into the sauce and repeat with remaining shells.
- Take your spinach and nestle it evenly throughout where the shells leave room. Top with desired amount of grated cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Enjoy with a small salad or garlic bread!
Stay tuned for next week’s Stupid Good Summer School:
How to Properly Cook Bacon
School may be out for the summer, but it’s time to get your kitchen game onto the honor roll! ‘Stupid Good Summer School’ features a technique every Tuesday, and a recipe using that technique every Thursday.