Saturday, November 17, 2012

Turkey Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Okay so I don’t know about you guys but I am officially ADDICTED to Pinterest!  I have found so many recipes I want to try and I have to be careful when I visit because it’s easily a 2-3 hour endeavor.  It’s so fun finding cute crafts (especially DIY), great cooking ideas, and even better entertaining possibilities.  One of the recipes I was dying to try was from a blog called Inspired Taste.  It looks like a really cool blog that was started by a couple who is really into cooking and photography.  I’ll have to add that one to the reading list. 

Stuffed shells are very versatile.  You can stuff shells with just about anything.  I have another recipe for shrimp stuffed shells that I’ll have to post at a later date.  I slightly modified the original recipe from Inspired Taste because I prefer to not have pork when there is a near equal substitute.  Sausage is one of those things.  I never buy pork sausage anymore.  There are so many great chicken and turkey sausages out there that are healthier and often times, even taste better.  Other than that, I added a couple of different seasonings and onion, and (voila!) my own version of this great recipe steps on the scene. 

Stuffed Shells with Turkey Sausage and Spinach

20 jumbo pasta shells
1 lb Italian turkey sausage links, casing removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ c chopped onion
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1c frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ c ricotta cheese
½ c shredded Italian cheese blend
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper

Prep tip: Place thawed chopped spinach in between a couple layers of paper towels and wring out over the sink to dry.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta shells according to package directions.  Once al dente, place shells in a bowl of very cold water until filling is prepared.

Tip: Soaking the shells in water stops the cooking process and also prevents them from drying out prior to baking.

Brown sausage in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Once sausage is near done, add onion and garlic.  Once all sausage is browned, add tomatoes, spinach, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Stir until well mixed.  Remove from heat and stir in ricotta.

Fill pasta shells with sausage mixture and place in a shallow baking dish.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350F for 20-25 mins or until cheese and edges of shells start to brown.

I served these shells with a delicious spinach salad and roasted garlic bread.  When we sat down for dinner, we totally threw out the etiquette and ate these with our fingers.  It worked great!  Also, it gave me a great idea for a new twist on appetizers. 

When you make this recipe, don’t forget to post your pretty pictures on Instagram and use the #nopressurecooker.

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