Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Make Ahead Dinner

With all the Christmas entertaining coming up, I wanted to put some dinners in the freezer that I could pull out at a moments notice, heat and serve. These stuffed shells are so simple and I spent last night building two foil baking pans full.
The easiest way to serve them is with a big salad and crusty garlic bread but I am going to serve them on the weekend as a side dish with an italian chicken parmesan or veal parmesan and a salad.
There really isn't much to say about the recipe. I eyeballed the amounts more or less and you can do the same. Just make sure that the mixture is stiff so that it doesn't leak out of the shells.
The big trick is not to overcook the pasta. Cook them until they are too firm to eat and not too soggy - about 7 minutes.
I used the pre-shredded Italian blend Kraft cheese but a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella or just mozzarella will work really well. I also used canned spaghetti sauce to make it quick and easy.

Ricotta Spinach Stuffed Shells
Makes 24 shells
1 box jumbo pasta shells
3c. ricotta cheese
1c. drained, chopped spinach
2c. grated cheese
1 egg
2c. tomato sauce

Cook pasta shells in boiling water until not quite al dente. Discard any broken shells.
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In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, egg and 1c. cheese.
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Spoon 1c. sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.
Scoop filling into the shells so that they are full but not overflowing. Place open side up in the baking dish.
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Spoon remaining sauce over the shells and then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
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Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Or wrap pan in foil and freeze for up to one month.


Emiline said...

I just had stuffed shells! My mom made them, but she put cream cheese in them. (Don't tell her this, but I don't like cream cheese in stuffed shells)

Yours look really good; I prefer the ricotta.

Melissa said...
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