Saturday, November 13, 2010
Ricotta with Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells
Another recipe taken from Simply Recipes. I might was well make a rule that I would only make food from Simply Recipes.
I first know of this dish from eating in the UCSF Mt. Zion hospital cafeteria. It was actually pretty good because they make a new entree dish every day so I get to try new things everyday. Their ricotta stuffed pasta shell dish used really really large pasta shells. The shells were the size of my palm!
I'm usually not a big cheese fan, but I think it's slowly growing on me. That's a good thing because you can expect more cheese related posts from me in the future as I explore this new found interest.
I followed this recipe almost to the T because it was my first time.
So I got a 12-oz package of the largest shell pasta I could find and cooked it until al dente.
Chopped a large shallot.
Chopped about 1 lb of spicy sausages. I would recommend using spicy sausages because it gave a nice kick to the really mild cheese mixture.
Cooked the chopped shallot with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they're all nice and translucent.
Added the sausages and a clove of minced garlic. All of those tasty things got cooked until the sausages are browned. I sorta stopped here and ate some sausages. That's the best thing about cooking, I get to eat random treats before finishing up.
I found a large bowl, beat an egg with a pair of chopsticks, and added 15 ounces of ricotta cheese. Heheh, would you look at that cheese just sitting there like an island?
Of course I broke the cheese up a bit. Rawr! I was godzilla destroying an island of cheese! When I finished playing with my food, I added about 10 ounces of chopped fresh spinach. Okay, I seriously had no idea how much spinach I had, but I assumed that it was 10 ounces.
The other stuff also got added: 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 cup panko, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and ground black pepper.
It came out looking like that when I mixed everything mentioned above with the sausages.
I used a can of 28 ounce of whole stewed tomatoes, broke it apart with my strong strong godzilla hands and added a teaspoon of sugar to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes.
Elise said to use two 9 x 12 baking dish, but I only used one because I only had one. So I lined the pan with half of the tomato can then proceeded to stuff the pasta shells with my cheese, spinach, and sausage mixture.
It took forever to stuff them, too. I must say, this was the hardest part of the preparation. When everything was stuffed, the last half of the tomatoes were spread on top of the stuffed shells.
The whole thing took a vacation in the 375 degrees oven for 30 minutes. I was supposed to sprinkle another 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese on top when everything was done...but I ran out of cheese, so nothing got added on top.
Below is the final product. I really like how it turned out, so I recommend that you visit Simply Recipes for the real recipe and make it!