Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuffed Shells

I recently tried this recipe for stuffed shells. So far in my life I have never made stuffed shells, but this recipe looked interesting and didn't have too many weird ingredients so I figured I'd give it a try.

After looking at the recipe I decided to split it in half so I could cook 2 variations of stuffed shells on 2 different nights. This my husband and I would have less to eat on any given night and would get a little variety.

To do this I mixed together the filling minus the chopped walnuts (which I decided to replace both nights anyway). After preparing the filling I split it in half and stuck half in the fridge to use another night. 

On Tuesday night I decided to make spinach stuffed shells, and on Thursday night I did meat stuffed shells (with ground beef).

spinach filling
meat filling

All I had to do was replace the walnuts with the chosen ingredient for the night. It was super easy, and cooking and stuffing the shells was surprisingly uncomplicated (before I tried it I was sure I would make a mess of it).

my lovely shells so neatly stuffed :)
spinach stuffed shells ready to be devoured

My husband says he liked both versions equally (Yay! I have another recipe I can add to my list!) but would have preferred a little less meat in the second version. I will admit that I did use quite a bit of meat in the second version by putting the extra meat in the sauce which may have been a little overkill. Now the fact that my husband like the spinach stuffed shells was a little surprising to me because he generally doesn't like spinach and isn't super keen on cheese. It must have been the pasta and sauce that won him over ;-)

I would also have to agree with my husband that both meals were delicious, but I would have liked to taste the spinach a little more in my first attempt. So, next time I think I'll definitely add more spinach - I only added about 1/2 cup. I'll add at least 1 full cup next time.

Overall, the stuffed shells were a success! And this is a meal that is really great because it can be prepared ahead of time and then just popped in the oven whenever you're ready to eat it. I also think it would be super easy to make a couple large batches of the stuffed shells and freeze them for later. And for those of you with kiddos around you can give them the broken shells as a treat :)

delicious broken shells that can't be stuffed

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