Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ground Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells

We tried to start weekly meal planning last week, but it didn't end up working out. I have kind of gotten out of the meal planning since the CSA ended, so hopefully this will help us get back into it. Last weekend I spent some time planning and then I went to the grocery store and got the ingredients for two weeknight meals. We will see how it goes this week and hopefully we get a better idea of how many meals we need to make each week to keep our leftovers stocked for the week. The first meal of the week was these stuffed shells. I made these last winter without the meat and we both really liked them. I think that I almost prefer them vegetarian style, but the ground turkey version was good as well.

Stuffed Shells

Ground Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells

1 12-oz. package jumbo pasta shells
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb. ground turkey OR Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
6-7 oz. fresh spinach, chopped OR 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes with herbs, including the liquid

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey or sausage to the pan, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. Cook until the ground turkey or sausage is completely cooked through and no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, basil, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Stir together to combine. Add the cooked ground turkey or sausage mixture to the bowl and stir until evenly mixed.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread a thin layer of the chopped tomatoes in the baking dishes (one 9×13″ or two 8 x 8"). Stuff each shell with some of the sausage and cheese mixture, and arrange in the baking dishes, open side up. Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top of the pasta shells.

Cover the pans with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes

Source: Annie's Eats

Stuffed Shells

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