I absolutely LOVE pasta and this recipe has become a family favorite.
You may have determined by now that we raise a lot of our own food including meat. This recipe calls for pork sausage which we have an abundance of at the moment. With an abundance of fresh sausage and our love of pasta, this recipe seemed the perfect way to marry the two.
1 pound pork sausage (mine was medium-hot)
2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1-14 oz can diced tomatoes (I used a 16 oz jar of homemade canned tomatoes)
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, finely grated
salt & pepper, to taste
1 1-pound package jumbo dried pasta shells
Prepare the pasta shells according to package directions. I cooked mine 1-2 minutes less than listed because they will finish cooking in the oven. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside
In the meantime, fry the sausage in a large skillet breaking it apart as you cook. When the sausage is browned, drain well then return to the pan. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and spinach. Simmer for 10-15 minutes allowing the juices to reduce by at least half. Adjust your seasonings if needed.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ricotta cheese mixing thoroughly. Fill each pasta shell with the filling mixture and place into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown. This will take 25-30 minutes depending on your oven.
At this point, you will have to refrain yourself from just eating them like this! The aroma in the kitchen is heavenly. **drools**
As you can see, my baking dish was more than full. I didn’t count the shells but there was a lot!
These were so delicious, there wasn’t even a crumb left after four of us had dinner.