These 3-cheese stuffed shells with spinach and zesty turkey tomato sauce are worth the effort.


By SHYANNE GRIFFIN

Can you say big yum?!

This zesty, cheesy goodness takes a little time to prepare, but it’s worth it!

Serve it with a side of Caesar or Mediterranean salad, garlic bread and nice bottle of Pinot Noir.

WHAT’S IN IT

· 1 box (12-oz) jumbo pasta shells

· 1 tablespoon olive oil

· 1 pound Italian turkey sausage

· 1 small onion, finely chopped

· Salt and pepper

· 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

· ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

· 1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes

· 1 can (15-oz) tomato puree

· ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning

· 1 container (15-oz) part-skim ricotta cheese

· 1 package (10-oz) frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess water

· ¼ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

· 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

· 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

HOW TO MAKE IT

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the shells for 1 minute less than it says on the box. Drain and let noodles cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9x13 inch baking dishes with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and once it is hot, add the sausage and cook until browned for 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

Season the mixture with a big pinch of salt and pepper, then stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.

Add crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, Italian seasoning, and ½ cup of water, and simmer on medium-low until, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add ricotta, spinach, parmesan, eggs, and 1 cup mozzarella to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir until well combined.

Spread 3 ladles of sauce on the bottom of each prepared baking dish and stuff each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture.

Line the stuffed shells in each dish, then cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle each dish with ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, removing the foil during the last 5 minutes of baking.

If you want to freeze the second dish, make sure it has cooled completely; cover with plastic wrap, then a layer of foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Beneath the Surface News. sara@beneaththesurfacenews.com