I’m not exactly sure what’s gotten into me lately… in a good way. After flying back to Texas from my Arizona Thanksgiving, I suddenly had the urge to COOK. It must have been those delicious home-cooked meals and hearing about my best friend Ryan’s cooking escapades. Those that know me know that this is not an area I usually dabble in, but I felt the need to give it a whirl.
Baking, yes. I love baking. Muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, bread… you name it, I’ll bake it. But for some reason, cooking has never really appealed to me. I look at recipes and see ingredients like “shallots” and think to myself, “What in the world is that?” I couldn’t even begin to guess.
I have recently discovered that it’s not so much the cooking that is unappealing. It’s actually shopping for the ingredients. I tend to get extremely lost in grocery stores, wandering down multiple aisles two or three times because I usually miss an ingredient or two… or five. I know that, eventually, this will get better with time. The more time I spend in one grocery store, the more likely I am to familiarize myself with the exact aisles and locations of everything I need.
On Monday evening after work, I decided to brave the traffic and crowds and stroll over to HEB. My grocery list was all over the place and it took me awhile to figure out where everything was, but eventually I found it all. I rushed home and started cooking right away because I was starving. Note to self: Shop for ingredients the night before so you have everything you need for dinner the next evening.
Now, I will give myself credit for one thing. I am great at multi-tasking (or as my coworkers know it as, rapid-toggling) which allows me to cook a number of things at one time without the mess of overflowing pots and a burnt smelling stove-top. This came in handy for this particular recipe because you have to do a few things at one time in order for it to turn out right. It does take 45 minutes to cook, but trust me, it is well worth the wait when it’s done. Thank you to my Mom for providing me with this wonderful recipe
STUFFED SHELLS (makes 18)
You will need:
- 1/2 package of Barilla jumbo pasta shells
- 1 jar (27 oz) tomato basil spaghetti sauce
- 1 egg
- 1 container (15 oz) of ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 box of frozen chopped spinach (or half a bag)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook jumbo pasta shells and drain.
- Cook spinach in water (about 5 minutes) and drain.
- Stuffing: Beat egg in a bowl, then stir in the ricotta cheese, 1 3/4 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and spinach.
- Spread tomato basil spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a clear, glass Pyrex rectangular baking dish.
- After shells have cooled off a little, fill them with the stuffing (in step 4) and place them in the baking dish.
- Pour the rest of the sauce over the shells and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the shells.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
- Uncover the dish and bake again for 5 minutes.
& Voila! You have yourself a delicious meal. This truly is every cheese lover’s dream. And if you’re a lovely, single lady (or chap) like myself, you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunch and dinner. If you want a less vegetarian version, try adding meat or sausage in the stuffing mix. I prefer it without meat, it tastes quite delicious. Happy Cooking!