Monday, July 16, 2012

YUM! Cheesy Stuffed Shells

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a great cook, by any stretch of the word. 

I don't possess the patience for cooking, nor do I enjoy the heat or pile of dishes that follows.

But sometimes I just get sick of eating hamburger helper and decide it's time for something different.

Saturday night was one of those times. 
Matt & I are working on our budget, so I wanted something quick & cheap.

 I found this one via pinterest, of course. It didn't require me to buy much of anything; eggs, shells, and ricotta. 
The rest I had lying around in the pantry or fridge.
Ingredients:
1 egg
1 cup mozzerella/italian style cheese
1 (15oz) pkg. part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 package large shell pasta
1 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cup alfredo sauce
(or you can do 3 cups spaghetti sauce to make it cheaper & easier)
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup frozen (thawed, drained) or fresh spinach
Pepper, to taste
Basil

 First off: Preheat your oven to 350F
 Next: Mix together the egg, cheese, spices, spinach & ricotta.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to package directions.
Make sure not over-cook them, otherwise they will tear apart when you fill them.
 Mix together alfredo & spaghetti sauce.
 Add a layer (about a cup) to the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish.
 Spoon the cheese mixture into the cooked shells.
[I had leftover of this, so you go ahead and fill those shells generously
Place the shells in the baking dish so they're snug & won't move.  
 Top with remaining sauce.
 Cook for 20-30 minutes (until sides are bubbling).
 I added some extra cheese & basil to the top just for good measure.
[anyone who says there's such a thing as "too much cheese" is lying to you]

It was amazing. 
Things I would do differently:
  • Use only spaghetti sauce [no Alfredo]. The sauce was a little too heavy for my taste, but I thought my husband would appreciate the Alfredo. 
  • Cook for 5 minutes more. The center shells were simply warm and I like my food scolding hot.
To make it low-cal:
  • Obviously, leave out the alfredo
  • Sub skim Ricotta for Fat Free Ricotta
  • Sub egg for egg substitute
  • Use 3/4 cheese & leave out cheese topping [sad face :( ]

This was definitely quick, easy, and super tasty!

If you decide to give this tasty recipe a whirl, let me know how it turns out!

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