She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31

Monday, March 24, 2008

From My Kitchen ~ Cheese Stuffed Shells

Here is another yummy italian recipe that our family really enjoys. The original incorporates spinach in the cheese mix, but I left it out because I knew Katy of The Country Blossom wouldn't even look at it if I added the dreaded "spinach" word to the title! LOL But for added nutrition, I'll tell you at the end when to add spinach.

Cheese Stuffed Shells
1 jar (32 oz.) spaghetti or marinara sauce (or your very own homemade sauce!)
1 cup water
1 egg
1 carton (16 oz.) ricotta cheese
2 packages (8oz.) shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 package (8 oz.) manicotti shells ~ about 14

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 13x9x2 inch baking dish.

Place 1 cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Stir in 1 cup of water; set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat egg. Stir in ricotta cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, salt & pepper until well blended. Using a table knife, fill manicotti shells with cheese mixture. Arrange in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells to coat completely. Cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until shells are very tender when pierced with fork. Sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Return dish to oven for 3-5 minutes to melt cheese.

Spinach option ~ If you'd like to add a little more color, nutrition and flavor to this dish, you can add spinach to the cheese mixture. You can use fresh or frozen spinach ~ In either case, cook up your spinach and finely chop it. Drain it very well and squeeze it dry. Then just add it to your cheese mixture before you stuff the shells. It is so good!

I serve this meal with whole grain bread and another vegetable on the side.

Often, I reserve a small portion of the ingredients to make a small dish that my husband can take to work. He always appreciates a nice homecooked meal while he is away. Last week, he even called me in between bites to let me know how much he was enjoying a "hot" meal in the middle of the day. It was a nice way to bless him, and it just made my day happy to receive his call as well!

Be blessed,


Farm Chick Paula said...

I'll take mine with spinach! Then maybe I can eat Katy's portion, too! LOL

Katy said...

Lea...first of all...let me give you a cyber hug! LOL That was sooooo sweet of you! How did you know I don't like spinach? I don't remember ever saying have an awesome memory!!! That looks fantastic. I make stuffed shells but i use cottage cheese instead of ricotta! Yours looks fantastic!!! Thank you for thinking of me with your recipe...I am just so suprised! LOL You are so thoughtful! I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Monday!

April said...

This looks wonderful!

Toni said...

I found you through katy over at the country blossom.This recipe looks very good.I will definatly be making it!I will be using the spinach also.Have a wonderful Monday!!

Pam said...

Ummmmm....this looks so good!

Linda said...

I'd go for the spinach! :D

Whenever I'm in Italy (I'm half italian, half of my family lives there) I always ask them to make ravioli (or any other pasta) with 'spinaci e ricotta'.... it's just sooooo yummy!

People in Holland often complain, but I think we are SO blessed to have people from all these different nationalities in our country. - even if it was only for the food! *lol*

I mean.. have you ever eaten Dutch food? The french have cuisine, we just have boiling.. *lol* Everything is boiled in water with a little salt, that's dutch food..

Now, the Turks brought in this lovely type of bread with.. feta cheese and SPINACH! yey! And they sell it for a dime as well ;)

greetings from the netherlands!

Cora from Nelia's Primitive Place said...

I like the spinach, too! But I have had it where they put parsley in it instead. That would be a way for Katy to get her greens!!!!!
This sounds so wonderful!!! I'll have to try it. Cora

Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

Goodness, we have a bunch of spinach lovers! I like it, too. I can just eat a big bowl full of it. It is soooo good!

Farm Chick Paula, you can have Katy's spinach. She won't mind parting with it one bit!


Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

That feta cheese & spinach with bread sounds heavenly. Oh goodness, I'm so hungry suddenly ...

Yes, Katy. I remember that you got a bit squeamish about the fettachini because it had spinach in it. I laughed because you reminded me of my boys! LOL


lindanuts said...

We love the spinach here at parker's paradise. Never the canned stuff but frozen is okay and fresh is fab! We used to grow it in the garden but we could never keep up with it. Washing was a real chore and most of it bolted before we could get to it.
Your shells look great; have never done them w/o meat. Spicy sausage is our favorite. My hubby eats them at work, too!

pumpkin seed said...

My husband LOVES pasta and italian dishes...I'll give this one a try! Thanks for sharing it!