Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

I made this dish the other night for a potluck, and they were delectable.  Since my husband and kids were not accompanying me to said potluck, I made sure they had some in their own dish.  These are a bit time consuming to make, so I don't break out this recipe that often, but man, they are good.  To help with time, the filling can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until needed.

I start off defrosting a couple of packages of frozen spinach under running water...
While the spinach is defrosting, I brown the ground meat...
 and chop an onion... (Sorry Dave, but the rest of us like onions)
When the meat is browned, drain off the fat reserving a tablespoon or 2 to saute the onions in until translucent.
Once the spinach has thawed, squeeze all of the water out of it and place in a large bowl with the drained meat.  Add a block of cream cheese to the meat and spinach and stir until blended.
Add in the onions, shredded Parmesan, salt, pepper, and combine.

The kids showed up and said take my picture! So I did. Here are Peamite Alpha and Peamite Bravo.

Now, back to the food. Let the mixture cool and then add the egg.  (Don't want scrambled eggs in your mix...)

If you're on top of things, which I'm usually not, you'll remember to cook your pasta shells in boiling salted water while you're making the stuffing mixture.  That way, when you're done with the mixture, the shells will be cool to the touch, so you're able to get ta stuffin.
Put a little tomato sauce in the bottom of your baking dish...
and place your stuffed pasta shells on top.  Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top of the shells.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about an hour.  During the last 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil and sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top to your liking.  Bake uncovered for the remaining time.


They were a success.  I didn't have a single one left over from the potluck.  When I got home, my husband informed me that my newly-one-year-old ate 2 shells.  Wow...that's a lot for the little lady! Since I had a brain fart and totally forgot to leave some mixture onion-free, my poor husband didn't get to enjoy them. (he reeeeeaally doesn't like the taste of onions.)  But hey, more for me.  I enjoyed them next day for lunch, too!

Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells
2 packages frozen, chopped spinach
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 large egg
1 (12 oz) package jumbo pasta shells
2 cups tomato sauce (your own or jarred)
1/2 - 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Place the spinach in a colander and run under water until thawed.  Meanwhile, brown the meat and chop the onion.  Drain the meat reserving a tbsp of fat to saute the onions in.  Squeeze all the water out of the spinach and place in a large bowl with the meat and a package of softened cream cheese.  Stir until blended together.  Add the sauteed onions, shredded Parmesan, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Let the mixture cool and then add the egg.
Cook the shells in boiling, salted water until they are al dente.  Drain and cool.  Stuff the shells with the mixture.  Pour a little tomato sauce into the baking dish and spread around until lightly covered.  Add the stuffed pasta shells and top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with foil and bake for about an hour.  During the last 10 minutes of baking, remove the foil and add the shredded mozzarella and baked uncovered for the remaining time.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious. And by the way, Carter and Katie are so darn cute!