Follow the Crumbs ...

Meatless Monday Recipe for 3/4/13: Vegetarian Sausage Stuffed Shells

Vegetarian Sausage Stuffed Shells

Vegetarian Sausage Stuffed Shells

Apparently I’ve been at it again. Experimenting. Creating. Trying to work a little bit of my culinary mojo in the kitchen. Actually, calling this ‘creating’ is a bit of a stretch; it’s more of a modification on a familiar theme. I love working with jumbo pasta shells. You can fill them with so many wonderful and varied ingredients.

That brings me to this week’s Meatless Monday recipe. I call it Vegetarian Sausage Stuffed Shells, even though its stuffed with more than mere vegetarian sausage. Once again, I’ve turned to my new favorite, Field Roast’s Italian vegetarian sausage. I can’t heap enough praise on these sausages. Filled with eggplant, fennel, garlic, red wine and sweet red peppers, is it no wonder I’ve fallen in lust with these little beauties? For this recipe, I removed the casings and crumbled the sausage, then I . . . well, you’ll see in the recipe. And while admittedly I’m not the best food stylist around (and besides…I was in such a hurry to eat them that I neglected to take a picture of them cut in half…), these babies were great!  Hope you make and enjoy.

four forks

Vegetarian Sausage Stuffed Shells

(serves 8)

1 package jumbo shells (12 ounces), uncooked
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 package (10 ozs.) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess moisture
1 package vegetarian sausage (I use Field Roast’s Italian, which is 12 ozs.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste
1 jar (26 ozs.) of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375°.

Prepare the jumbo pasta shells according to the package instructions. Don’t overcook. Drain and set aside when finished.

This is what the vegetarian sausages look like with the casings removed, before crumbling . . .

This is what the vegetarian sausages look like with the casings removed, before crumbling . . .

While pasta is cooking, remove the casing from the vegetarian sausage and crumble. Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat; add crumbled sausage and cook through. Set aside to cool.

. . . and this is the sausage after crumbling.

. . . and this is the sausage after crumbling.

In a large bowl combine ricotta cheese, spinach, crumbled sausage, mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, eggs, and salt & pepper. Stuff each shell with enough of cheese/spinach/sausage mixture to fill it. In a large baking dish (13″ x 9″ x 2″ or larger) place stuffed shells side-by-side.

The shells, stuffed, prior to bathing in spaghetti sauce.

The shells, stuffed, prior to bathing in spaghetti sauce.

Spread spaghetti sauce evenly over shells, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until sauce bubbles. If desired, at the end of 30 minutes, remove foil and place back in the oven for additional 2-3 minutes to melt cheese.

The end result.

The end result.

Advertisements

Care to comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: