1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c cottage cheese
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, optional (sounds weird, but add it - the flavor it adds is incredible!)
jumbo shell noodles, cooked and drained
1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp each dried basil and parsley flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp each sugar and dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
In a skillet, brown sausage and onion; drain. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the spinach, cream cheese, and egg. Add 1 c. mozzarella, cheddar, cottage cheese, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and cinnamon (if desired); mix well.
|stuffed shell filling all mixed together|
To freeze the shells, I took a tip from my mother that she said my grandmother does when making stuffed shells. Instead of putting them all in a casserole dish, like you would if you're just making these for dinner that same evening, my grandmother lines the shells up on a cookie sheet and freezes them individually - that way she can pull out as many shells as needed for a given dinner. Come time to cook these babies up, I'll just take out enough shells for me and Travis, or enough for us and guests, and toss them in the oven following the above baking instructions. Easy peasy!
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!
I even had my very own audience in the kitchen this morning: