Simply Deliciousioso Stuffed Shells Florentine With Sausage

"This tasty pasta dish never fails to make a big impression, even though the recipe is quick and simple. Large Italian-style pasta shells are stuffed with a flavorful blend of ricotta cheese, spinach, sausage and garlic. Makes a great weeknight meal or a delicious contribution to the next pot luck dinner you attend (one or two shells makes a generous individual portion)."
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Ready In:




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat olive oil in a wide saute pan over medium-high flame. Add crumbled sausage and cook until no longer pink. Remove sausage from oil with a slotted spoon (reserve pan drippings), drain on paper towels, keep warm.
  • In the sausage pan drippings, cook the onion until tender (3 to 4 minutes); add the garlic and cook until it "dances" ( additional minute or so). Drain and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If desired, season with salt and cook shells according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Pour marinara sauce into a large saucepan; heat through.
  • Spoon 1 cup of the marinara into the bottom of a large roasting pan. Reserve remaining marinara and keep warm.
  • Cook spinach per package directions; drain well and squeeze dry. Mix with ricotta cheese, mozzarella, eggs, salt, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked sausage, onions and garlic; give a good stir.
  • Using a teaspoon, fill each shell with the mixture (DO NOT OVERSTUFF).
  • If desired, sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes over the top of each shell. Transfer shells to the prepared roasting pan; arranging them in a single layer.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is heated through.
  • Let the shells rest for five (5) minutes before serving. Serve with reserved marinara, warm crusty Italian bread and a freshly tossed spinach & vinegarette salad. Simply deliciousioso!

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<img src=""> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> It was at my Italian grandmother's apron strings, in the "Patterson, New Jersey region" of Italy, that I learned the secrets of creating real home style Italian dishes, and where my passion for food and my culture were nurtured. Always kept neat as a pin, grandma's kitchen was the centerpiece of our social settings and the focal point of our lives together as a family. Yes, it was the heart of her home. There, friends and family exchanged news, grandchildren stood on stools over the counter and grated chunks of Romano and Parmesan cheese to be served with dinner, and under the watchful eye of grandma the women (young and old) planned and prepared mouthwatering menus that reflected the marvelous flavors and textures of Italian cooking. On any given day tantalizing aromas would build and escape through her kitchen window, dance about the balcony and drift down onto the street; where men chatting on the corner of Putnum Street would stop in their tracks to inhale the mouth-watering fragrance. So many sumptuous meals were prepared in that modest, yet functional, kitchen. If I close my eyes and think of Grandma's cooking, I can vividly recall some of those fragrant food memories: tomato sauce with meatballs and sausages simmering on the stove top; onions, peppers and garlic roasting in a fragrant pool of olive oil, Neapolitan pizza with vine-ripened tomatoes (from grandpa's garden), fresh garlic, basil, Parmesan and anchovies bubbling in the oven; Italian bread smothered with creamy butter, minced garlic, and fresh parsley toasting under the broiler ... "Yummmmm - Heaven in your mouth!" Among the many recipes that I've collected over the years, are those that I hold especially near and dear. They are tattered, faded pieces of paper that provide a glimpse into my past -- Family recipes passed down from mother to daughter, granddaughter to great-granddaughter. Generations of my family's heritage are captured in grandma's recipes for flavorful soups (Minestrone, Pea, Ruccola); hearty meat, poultry and fish dishes (braciole, pot roast, chicken casseroles, seafood stews); fresh vegetable entrees and salads, and those baked goodies that bring a happy ending to every meal (Ricotta pies, Struffoli, Cenci, Pine Nut cookies). Whenever I am 'hungry' for "the good old days" or I want to soothe my soul after a tiring day, these are the comfort-recipes to which I turn. I once heard it said: "What distinguishes great cooks from good cooks is that great cooks love to cook. Every meal is an opportunity to express that love." A credo that I am certain grandma lived by -- I believe that she prepared her meals to fill her family and friends with love. I am proud of grandma's spirit of "abbondanza" (an abundant table). Indeed, no one ever left grandma's table hungry. I'd like to share with you some of the foods from my beloved grandmother's kitchen. Enjoy and make these Italian classic favorites in your own family's kitchen. Buon appetito!
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