I created this dish because of the sale items I had gotten that I could use to make the dish. The ground Sirloin, Italian Sausage, & Ricotta cheese were all on sale, & many of the other items I already had in the fridge & pantry.
Adding spinach is a great way to add veggies to the diet. Since my husband is such a hearty eater, I knew combining all of the meats with the other ingredients would make a very special dinner idea, since it had been quite some times since I had made stuffed shells. I even had enough to make a second dish for the freezer for a later time. It was cheesy & delicious.
1PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt is cooking the entire box of shells, or use 1/2 Tbs. for half box & bring water to a boil. Salt helps to prevent the shells from sticking together.
2Cook pasta according to directions on box, I undercooked by 2 minutes at 8 minutes until shells are al dente. Then drain. These are the meats I used in this dish.
3Spray large platter with non stick cooking spray, add the separated shells onto platter, and set aside till ready to stuff.
4Prepare the filling by adding the ricotta to a large bowl, add in the eggs, spices, parmesan and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella, & chopped drained spinach.
5Combine all the ingredients together, I added the spices with the cheeses until thoroughly mixed before adding the spinach, set aside until you are ready to stuff the shells. Then stuff into each individual shell. I filled all of mine first before I added them to casserole dish.
6Make the meat filling by adding all of the meat & chopped onions to a large skillet or pot, I used the same pot I cooked the noodles in. Cook over medium high heat, until meat is almost completely browned, then drain over a colander any excess fat and liquid from pot or skillet. Return meat back to pot add in all of the spices, and stir to mix together, then add in pasta sauce, and allow to cook over low heat at least 15 minutes or more. Remove from heat and you are ready to assemble.
7Spray a 9X15 size casserole dish with non stick cooking spray. Cover bottom of casserole dish with meat sauce. Add in the stuffed shells till dish is filled. I had enough to make a second dish for the freezer.
8Now add more meat sauce to cover all of the shells. I repeated the steps with the smaller second dish. Cover with tight fitting lid or foil, and bake in preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes until shells are hot, remove cover, add remaining cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven. I also added a bit of extra shredded Parmesan cheese.
9Allow to sit and cool a bit just before serving. Serve with a nice salad and garlic Bread. Enjoy. Garnish each plate with parsley, Fresh Basil or chopped chive if desired. Optional