Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stuffed Shells

So tonight we are cutting up the buck that hubby got on opening day. Because that's going to take several hours I have to have a quick meal. I have several meals that I make up and place in the freezer just for days like today. One of those is stuffed shells. We love them, but they are time consuming to make. So I make up a bunch at one time, and they freeze nicely. They are quite easy to make though.

To make them you will need a box of shells, or you can use manicotti. Cook them up as directed on the package.

For the filling, you will need
1 16 oz container ricotta cheese
1 egg
cinnamin (optional)

In a bowl mix everything listed above. This will be a nice filling. You can omit the spinach, but it does give a nice flavor, and is a great way to add more veggies into your healthy eating without a strong flavor.

Next you will want to take some of the mixture and place into each of the shells. If making manicotti, I have found it easiest to use a pastry bag, or a ziploc bag to fill the shells. If useing the ziploc bag, put the filling in the bag, let out the air, and seal. Then cut the corner off. Don't make too big a cut. Then you can fill the manicotti. I fill one side, and then turn and fill the other side.

Place the pasta, (shells, open side down) in a 9 x13 pyrex dish. Cover with sauce, and pop in the oven at 350 for about 25 min. You want the filling to get warm. After 25 minutes, pull out, and add mozzarela cheese, and place back in the over, until the cheese is melted. About another 5-8 minutes. You can add as much or as little cheese as you like.

To freeze, after they are filled, place on a piece of wax paper lined cookie sheet. Again the shells open side down, and place in the freezer. After several hours, they will be frozen, and then transfer them to a freezer bag. Can be stored several months. Ours never last more than about 3 months, so not sure how much longer they will last.

To bake from the frozen stated. Place them in the dish as directed above with sauce. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Then add the cheese and bake until melted

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