Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Alfredo and Spaghetti Sauce

I wasn't quite sure what I was making for dinner tonight, but I knew I had some ricotta cheese I needed to use up, and hamburger thawing, so I stopped by the grocery store and picked up some Jumbo shells. When I got home I also saw the heavy whipping cream I needed to use up, so this is what I came up with. I made a fresh batch of spaghetti sauce, but use left over if you have it. This was so yummo if I do say so myself.....

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells with Alfredo and Spaghetti Sauce

16 Jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained (can use more shells, just depends on how full you stuff them)
Alfredo sauce (recipe to follow)
Spaghetti sauce (approx. 2 cups)--Have this heating in a saucepan (see my spaghetti sauce recipe)
1 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese (I use the part skim)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon basil (approx)
1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning( approx, could use oregano if you don't have the mix)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 cup grated mozerella cheese
1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained well, (I squeeze out the moisture with my hand)
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir together the ricotta cheese, egg, basil, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Next add the cheese and the spinach, stir to combine. Spoon about a heaping Tablespoon or so into each shell. Pour alfredo sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch casserole pan. Place the shells in the pan as you fill each one. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon a little spaghetti sauce over each one. Garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve 2 or 3 per serving. Have the remaining spaghetti sauce on the table for individual use. Goes well with steamed veggie's and french bread or bread sticks. Enjoy!!

Alfredo Sauce
3 tablespoons Butter
1 heaping Tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup heavy whipping cream (1 small carton, if not quite a cup, can add milk to it to make a cup)
1/2 up grated Parmesan cheese
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a small saucepan, add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Whisk in cream and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Then whisk in cheese, nutmeg, and a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer till thickened, (about 8 min.) Don't bring to full boil at this point or the sauce will separate and turn grainy.

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