This is for all you cheese lovers out there.
Last summer, I posted a recipe for dairy-free stuffed shells. They’re good. But they’re dairy-free. I eat them when I feel like being dairy-free. I make them for vegan friends and after weekends that involve hot dogs, french fries and grilled steak. In my mind, there’s time and place for everything including nutritional yeast, blocks of velveeta, green juice and dr. pepper. It’s all about moderation, right?
These shells do not contain tofu nor nutritional yeast…and they are best eaten alongside some buttery garlic bread and a big glass of red wine.
I actually posted this recipe back in 2009. I just love it so much! And when was trying to think of a meal to bring to a friend who just had a baby girl last week, I dusted it back off. I actually wasn’t going to re-post it, but then I thought maybe some new readers might have missed the original. And I just couldn’t stand the thought of that. It would simply be a tragedy to miss out on something this good.
Plus, the original recipe was without photos and in all italics because I used to think it was cool back in 2009 to write recipes in all italics. If Comic Sans was an option for font I probably would have used that, too. Just saying….sometimes recipes are worth a re-post.
The cheesy filling is a blend of ricotta cheese, Italian blend cheeses, Parmesan cheese, cottage cheese and spinach. It’s absolutely comfort food at its very best. I used to make these stuffed shells all the time while I was in culinary school and living in Orlando with my friend, Helen. I’d make big batches on Sunday night and we’d eat it all.week.long since neither of us had any time to cook during the week (ironic that I had no time to cook during culinary school). Sometimes I added a bit of spicy chicken sausage to the sauce, but often just left them vegetarian.
So, make a big batch this weekend! Spinach makes them healthy, right?
Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Shells
12 oz box jumbo shells
1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
1 cup Italian blend grated cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz cottage cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of ground nutmeg
24 oz of your favorite marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups grated mozzerella cheese
10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted with liquid wrung out
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Boil the pasta in salted water. Drain and lay out shells on a wax paper lined kitchen counter. Let cool and make the filling.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, Italian cheese blend, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg and spinach. Mix well.
Spoon about tbsp of cheese into each shell and lay each seam side up into a greased 9 x 12″ casserole dish. You will have a little extra—I usually bake those in a smaller dish alongside the big dish. Pour the sauce over the shells and sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese.
Cover with tin foil and bake 30 minutes. Enjoy!