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7.23.2012

Baked Stuffed Shells

I'm late to the Instagram party.  I'm aware.


When it comes to Instagram, I have a serious case of FOMO.

That's Fear Of Missing Out, for those of you late to the trendy, acronym-of-the-week party.

Because hip and artsy Instagram photos are everywhere these days!  They're on Facebook, they're in all the blogs I follow, and, um, they're on Instagram.

Since I don't have an Iphone (maybe we should talk instead about how I'm late to the Iphone party?), and since Instagram for Blackberry would probably be the worst invention of the year, I have been sneaking the occasional photo with my husband's Iphone.  He loves this.  Especially because in doing so I've signed him up for another social networking avenue he fiercely opposes.

Maybe he and I should switch phones.  Just kidding (but totally not).

This weekend I spent part of Sunday making dinner to take to and enjoy with our friends who just had a beautiful baby girl.  Finding time to make a healthy, hearty meal is scarce with a newborn, so this was the perfect opportunity to spend time with the little one and take care of dinner.

And I needed something convenient.  A make now, bake later, take-to-a-friend dinner recipe.  A meal we could all feel good devouring while swooning over the tiniest of fingers and toes.

Ahem.  Baked stuffed shells!

Combine lean ground sirloin with spinach and fresh parmesan cheese.  Scoop the mixture into cooked jumbo shells (macaroni buckets as I like to call them), and top with zesty marinara and melty mozzarella.  You can bake right away, or pack yourself a picnic to be heated later and shared with good friends.

And because I chose to bake these babies off at our friends' house, all I got for ya is a lonely Instagram shot of a near-empty baking dish.   But you get the hip, artsy picture.

Also, I may be slowly getting over my Instagram FOMO, but now I have lingering FOMOOB.  Ten bucks if you can figure that one out.  I think it'll stick, I really do.


Baked Stuffed Shells
Yields 4 servings
Ingredients:
1 jar marinara sauce, divided
1/2 - 1 box jumbo shell pasta
1 lb lean ground beef (I found 96% fat free!)
1 tbs canola oil
1 c onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 6-oz bag baby spinach
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Salt/pepper
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese, grated

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Pour 1 cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, and spread to coat the bottom.  Set aside.


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the shells, and cook 12-13 minutes, or until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray.  Add the ground beef, and cook approximately 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.  Stir frequently to crumble.  Remove the meat from the pan, drain the liquid, and set the meat aside.


Bring the same skillet back to medium-high heat, and add the canola oil.  When hot, add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently.


Add in the cooked meat, spinach, and reserved pasta water.  Cook for 10 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.



Add the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine, and turn off the heat.  Let the mixture cool.  When cool enough to handle, spoon the meat mixture into the cooked shells, and line up each shell in the baking sheet.



Cover the shells with the remaining marinara.  This will keep them nice and juicy.  Then top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.


2 comments:

sherry wills said...

The entree is mouth watering. I may have to make this recipe for myself to showcase my Ocean and Fish commercial kitchen equipment brisbane. Those clams will be the crowning glory.

Robert Thorne said...

As always, every great meal leaves behind a mountain of dirty dishes and counter tops. It really makes you appreciate the existence of commercial kitchen cleaning agents.

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