After making lasagna for Stella’s birthday party – that seems to be her go to request. Lasagna is a lot of work, but is a really good make ahead meal for a large group. Well I found another one, that personally I like better and even though it is pretty much the same ingredients – it seems easier and not as heavy a meal – stuffed shells.
Stuffed Shells (veggie or meat)
Ingredients (makes about 60 stuffed shells, easily will serve 10 with leftovers)
2 boxes of jumbo pasta shells
Olive oil, lard, tallow, coconut oil
4 – 5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bags fresh spinach (or you can use frozen)
1 pound ground pork sausage (humanely raised – grass fed)
1 1/2 containers whole milk ricotta (32 oz size containers)
1 cup grated whole milk mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated whole milk cheddar
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
3 large egg
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper for seasoning
1 – 1 1/2 jars tomato sauce
You can make this ahead and keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days – just don’t top off with sauce or you can freeze for later.
1. Cook the shells according to package directions – you want them to be al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
2. Saute the spinach and garlic (I forgot to add the garlic so I did separately) in olive oil, lard, tallow or coconut oil. Set aside and allow to drain – the chopped up.
3. Cook the pork sausage. When done – drain the fat (but keep for a later use – I do!).
4. Grate your cheeses.
5. In a large bowl combine, the cheeses (leave some parmesan for topping when served), the ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper (seasoning), the basil and chopped spinach. Mix well.
6. In a 9×9 baking dish, cover the bottom with tomato sauce.
7. Stuff your shells and place in the baking dish.
8. When you are done with your veggie shells add the sausage to the cheese mixture – mix well. Follow steps 6 & 7.
9. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
10. Cover the shells with tomato sauce, cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.
11. Take off the tin foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serving size is 4 shells, but if serving with soup, salad or a side dish(s) you may not need 4 per serving. Top with some grated parmesan cheese and some extra sauce and enjoy!