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Stuffed ShellsI was in the grocery store last Friday during my lunch hour picking up a take-and-bake pizza for my boys when I was trying to decide what I was going to make my sweetie for a late dinner. I don’t usually go grocery shopping without a plan, but for whatever reason, I was feeling undecided. Inspiration struck in the form of stuffed pasta shells, a favorite in my house. I’d made him lasagna on our first date, so I was hopeful he’d like this Italian cousin of that traditional dish.

Usually I stuff jumbo pasta shells with a mixture of cheeses, but since my boys weren’t eating them with us that night, I decided to change it up a little and add in some spicy sausage and a lot of spinach and garlic. They turned out delicious! I made homemade sauce, which I’ve shared on this blog, but feel free to use any kind you like.

Stuffed Shells
Serves 8

1 lb dried jumbo pasta shells
1 (16 oz) ctn part-skim ricotta cheese
1 lb spicy bulk sausage
8 oz fresh spinach
8 oz provolone cheese
4 oz cream cheese
6 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

In the meantime, cook sausage, crumbling while cooking. Drain fat; set aside. In the same pan, add olive oil and saute spinach; cook until spinach begins to wilt. Add garlic and cook two more minutes.

Combine ricotta, provolone, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Add sausage and spinach, and mix thoroughly.

Fill each shell with about 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Place in a pan prepared with non-stick cooking spray and top with your favorite pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 350°F for 45 minutes, remove cover and bake until cheese on top is bubbly.

Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 696, Calories from Fat: 345, Fat: 38 g (18 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 93 mg, Sodium: 1143 mg, Carbohydrates: 52 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 37 g

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