Sunday, November 14, 2010

cleaning house..

In all the insanity that goes along with being a mommy, a full time employee and a grad school student, I neglected to buy enough groceries to get us through 2 full weeks. Oops. But I refused to give in and head to the grocery store; I KNEW there was enough food in the cupboards, fridge and freezer I could put together in a few different ways to get us through the next week. A half a box of pasta shells inspired this recipe! Straight talk: I did have to buy the ricotta and the shredded mozzarella, but it's amazing how many excellent ingredients you can find in your own kitchen when you're desperate!

Stuffed Shells

1/2 box large pasta shells (about 20)
1 jar pasta sauce
15oz container ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2lb. ground beef or sausage
2/3 cup onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups finely minced spinach (use your food processor and mince fresh spinach or frozen works too)

Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Brown ground meat, onion and garlic together. Drain the excess liquid. Stir in jar of pasta sauce.
Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, spinach and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
Pour half of the pasta sauce mixture into the bottom of a 13x9" square baking dish. Stuff the shells with the ricotta mixture and arrange in the pan. Pour the remainder of the pasta sauce mixture over the stuffed shells.
Bake at 350 covered for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle the last cup of mozzarella cheese over the pasta and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.

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