Mushroom – Spinach Stuffed Shells

Everyone loves stuffed shells.  What you might not know is that they are pretty easy to make… most of the time.  I say most of the time because I usually take a little help from the store and use jar sauce.  This recipe however, is all made from scratch and though it’s a bit labor intensive it’s definitely worth it.  It’s still easy to make, you just have to plan to have some time to do it.

I have always loved the combination of spinach and mushroom, and these are no exception.  I was intrigued by the use of cottage cheese, when most recipes would use ricotta, because it reminded me of my mom’s lasagna in which she also used cottage cheese.  The one thing I knew I wouldn’t be on board with was the use of fennel seed, which I just hate.  I decided just to omit that entirely and throw in some things like basil, parsley, and oregano which turned out nicely.

The filling makes quite a lot, more than enough for 8 oz of pasta.  I just went ahead and prepared the whole 12 oz box of shells and though I had some left over it wasn’t hard to find someone to gobble them up lol.  The recipe does call for white mushrooms, but I just love the more earthy flavor of the crimini so went with those.  This recipe also calls for frozen spinach out of convenience I imagine, but I am sure you could use fresh too if you wanted.

On a side note, I apologize for not posting as many recipes lately.  I have just been a bit busy at home, we’ve gone through a lot of illness this year, and we’ve been eating out or repeating meals more lately as well.  I have a few planned to make soon, so hopefully it won’t be as long before the next recipe is posted.  Thanks for your patience!

 

Mushroom – Spinach Stuffed Shells

Ingredients :

  • Kosher salt
  • 8 oz. jumbo shells
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 C. low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 C. mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/3 C. parmesan, grated
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped

Tomato Sauce Ingredients :

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds (see note above)
  • lg. pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • kosher salt

Cheese Sauce Ingredients :

  • 1/4 C. low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 C. mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 T. parmesan, grated
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

 

Directions :

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta shells and cook until slightly softened but still firm, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drizzle with olive oil and toss; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until golden in spots, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 more minutes. Add the spinach and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely.
  3. Finely chop the spinach-mushroom mixture and combine in a bowl with the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the filling; set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, then rinse out the can with 1 cup water and add to the skillet; add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the skillet and rinse out the blender.
  6. Combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and egg in the blender and puree until smooth.
  7. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil and pour in half of the tomato sauce. Add the stuffed shells, then top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes; uncover and continue baking until bubbly, 15 to 20 more minutes. Turn on the broiler; drizzle the shells with the cheese sauce and broil, about 2 minutes.

Recipe from Full Fork Ahead

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  1. Reblogged this on Nice to See You Visiting My Blog, Gorgeous.


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