Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lightened Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

Carbs are good.

I don't care what anyone says.

Carbs are better than good.

I always hear girls saying things along the lines of "oh I'm cutting out carbs".

Wait, um, excuse me?!

Isn't that like actually impossible? Impossible like resisting chocolate, or a free pair of heels, or a make-out session with Ryan Reynolds. It can't be done my friends.

Sure, I try to cut out as much white breads as possible and replace them with whole grain and fiber and such but a world without bread, pasta or potatoes is not a world I want to live in.

For those of you who don't fear carbs...then these stuffed shells shall make you salivate as they did me while they were baking. I searched high and low for whole grain shells but apparently they do not least not in my grocery store. Oh well, extra-carby it is.

This is actually a lightened recipe anyway, so the whole white pasta thing might as well get counted out. Am I right or am I right? The sauce I made for it was a meat sauce with ground turkey and chicken sausage but it was my boss's friends recipe...aka, not mine to share but it was delicious! Definitely my go-to tomato sauce. I changed this up a bit to resemble this said sauce so that will have to do.

Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce
Adapted from


27 (9 oz) Barilla Jumbo Shells
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb 99% lean ground turkey (I froze the leftover meat to use at a later date)
1/2 lb Italian chicken sausage, casings removed (I froze the leftover meat to use at a later date)
32 oz crushed tomatoes (I used Tuttorosso)
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper
2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
8 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg
16 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well
1/4 cup reduced-fat Parmigiano Reggiano


Boil water and cook shells according to package directions, make sure to make them al dente.

Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in oil. Add turkey sausage and salt and brown until cooked, breaking up in small pieces. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper and basil, then simmer on low, covered, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, spinach, mozzarella, and parmesan.

Once shells are cooked and cool, fill each shell with (about 2 heaping tbsp) cheese mixture and place on a large baking dish, or two smaller dishes, covering the bottom of the dish with a little sauce.

Top shells with half of the sauce, cover with foil and bake 40 minutes; uncover foil and bake 5 more minutes.

Serve with additional sauce on top.


Coco Pistachio said...

OMG! A make out session with Ryan Reynolds? Count me in! :)

I totally agree with your carbs idea. Carbs are literally in every single food (ecspecially the mouth watering ones!)

I tried to do a low carb diet once because apparantly you can lose a lot of weight, it was literally the hardest thing I've ever done!

These shells look great!

Liis Niinsalu said...

Great blog you have here :)

Tarrah said...

Thank you ladies! :)

Courtney @ Bake. Eat. Repeat. said...

Found you via Tasty Kitchen! I'm a Columbus-ite as well. We are in agreement. A world without carbs is a dark and scary place!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...