Thursday, October 17, 2013

More Stuffed Pasta Shells

Back in May of 2011, I made broccoli and cheese stuffed pasta shells. I didn't use all of the shells then, though, and the remainder have been sitting in my cupboard since then. Until a couple weeks ago! Greg and I put together some stuffed shells on the fly with ingredients we had on hand, my favorite way to make things. (And yes, the shells were just fine. No bugs had gotten in there to nibble them.)

Greg had some leftover ricotta cheese and spinach from another dish he'd made for us. I did not use ricotta the last time I made stuffed shells because Kimmy (my co-conspirator at the time) does not like ricotta. I mixed the ricotta, spinach, and one egg, while Greg chopped up some chicken sausages into tiny pieces. There was also a pot of the pasta shelves bubbling on the stove because they have to be precooked before you bake them.
Chopping the sausage took a bit of time, but when it was done, I blended it in with my cheese and spinach mixture, then stuffed the cooked and drained shells with it. The box for the shells said to line the bottom of the baking dish with a little bit of pasta sauce, which I did before placing the stuffed shells inside. Once the shells were stuffed and placed, I poured more sauce over the top. I recommend also sprinkling shredded Parmesan cheese or mozzarella over the top before popping the shells into the oven, but we didn't have any, so I didn't do this part.

I can't remember precisely, but I think we baked them for about 20 to 30 minutes at 350F. Since all of the ingredients were pre-cooked (even the sausage), it was mostly a matter of letting it cook long enough to transform a bunch of disparate ingredients thrown together into one cohesive whole. It also evaporated some water, making it a more solid dish.

There were about a dozen shells, making plenty for dinner and leftovers the next day. Yay, leftovers! Not bad for a bunch of leftovers thrown together then into the oven. 

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