February 19

Sausage Stuffed Shells

We’ve seriously been on an Italian sausage kick recently. It’s taking all of my strength to not make breakfast for dinner tonight, as breakfast usually consists of breakfast sausage. We get into habits of having a lot of beef until our insides say no more, then switch to chicken and quickly get bored of it, only to switch to sausage of some sort and give that a few days before we’re ready to take on a different meat, or start the vicious cycle over at beef. We are such meat people. I couldn’t imagine ever going meat-less. No thanks. I want to enjoy the food in my life and eating fake meat or vegetables/soy/whatever else the rest of my life is not appealing.

But I digress.

So, I’ve been wanting to make this dish for well over a week now, but with a combination of The Fellow™ going out of town last weekend, and us either eating out for dinner or making simple things like grilled cheese and fries, it got pushed back to just this weekend. Which is okay, because The Fellow’s™ mother was visiting us over night and it was another chance to wow her with my mad kitchen skills.

This is another one of those saw-it-online-but-took-it-and-ran-with-it-to-cater-to-our-tastes-and-what’s-in-my-fridge/freezer recipes. I’m really happy with how good they came out, a little pissed off that The Fellow™ attacked ALL the leftovers before I even had a chance to look at them, and ecstatic that the photograph came out so lovely with my new Canon Rebel T2i.

Sausage Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

12-15 jumbo shells
4 links Italian sausage
1/2 cup spinach, finely shredded
1 medium carrot, finely shredded
1/4 cup cucumber, finely shredded
1/4 cup bell peppers of choice
1/4 cup onions, finely diced
1 cup feta cheese
12 ounces Hunt’s herb and garlic sauce
sprinkle of various cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan, Monterrey Jack, etc)
pepper, to taste

Directions

1) Boil the jumbo shells per instructions on the box, omitting the salt. Remove from the water when they have reached al dente. Set aside and let cool.

2) Grease a large casserole dish and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

3) Cook the sausage in a skillet with a little water and cut into very small pieces. Drain excess grease from the pan and pat the sausage dry. Return to the skillet and add the spinach, carrot, cucumber, bell peppers, and onions. Heat over medium and mix well, sprinkling with pepper.

4) Fill each cooled jumbo shell with about 1 Tablespoon of feta, then load up with the sausage and veggies mixture. Gently set each filled shell into the greased casserole dish. They can remain touching each other, if necessary, to fit the entire batch into one pan. When done, drizzle red sauce over the top until they are fairly well covered without completely smothering them (unless you like it that way).

5) Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with various cheeses of choice for the last few minutes in the oven. Remove and serve.

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