Monday, April 18, 2011

Serving Up {Pasta}: Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells

I posted this recipe on our family blog three years ago because every time I made it I would get the request for the recipe.  Nothing has changed.  It continues to be one of my favorite meals to make and continues to get requests for the recipe whenever it's shared.  Because it is so well received, it is one that I often go to when I need to provide a dinner for another family - not to mention it is an easy recipe to double if you need to feed a large crowd.

Don't be frightened by the spinach.  My husband is not a big fan of cooked spinach and yet I have never had him voice displeasure in it's presence in this meal (as he reaches for seconds).  If you are really adverse to it, then simply leave it out.  They will still be amazing! 

(adapted recipe from Karen S.)
printable version

1 pkg. jumbo shells
1 can artichoke hearts (not marinated), chopped
1/2 cup frozen CHOPPED spinach (about 1/2 package), thawed and well drained
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Dash each of Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. jimmy dean sage sausage, cooked and drained

Cook pasta until almost done - they are easier to stuff when not completely cooked.  Set aside.

Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and spices and blend together well.  Add the spinach, chopped artichokes and sausage and stir until all mixed.

Stuff the shells with the cream cheese mixture and place in a lightly sprayed baking dish, open side up.  Top with alfredo sauce (recipe to follow) and bake until heated through.

(recipe from Karen S.)

1/4 cup butter
1 quart HEAVY whipping cream
1 cup parmesan shreds

Melt the butter in a saucepan, being careful to ensure it does not burn.  Add the whipping cream and heat over medium-low heat until it thickens (at least 5 minutes) stirring frequently.  Add a little salt and pepper.  When the sauce is thickened, add the parmesan cheese and stir until it is melted and incorporated.  Do not add the cheese prior to the cream thickening or the cheese will sink to the bottom and burn.  Taste and add additional salt if necessary.

The Alfredo Sauce recipe makes enough that I generally only use 1/2 of the recipe to top one batch of the stuffed shells.

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