Sunday, February 18, 2018

Stuffed Shell Casserole

Now that my schedule is lighter, and I am back to cooking, I am  simultaneously alleviating and adding to Dear Husband's shopping and cooking burdens by diversifying our menu. Feeling in the mood for pasta, I dug up a Better Homes & Gardens recipe that I had attempted--and cryptically annotated--once before. We enjoyed the results, but in true Frau Doktor Doctor fashion I only sort of followed the book, so for posterity I have tried to recreate what I ended up doing here.

1. The recipe calls for 8 large manicotti shells. DH was able to find a box of 36 "jumbo" shells that are "jumbo" only in an advertising sense. (Apparently there were 25 the last time I made this dish.) Boil however many of them there are for ~10 minutes. When you are delicately trying to peel them apart later, wish you had rinsed them in cold water.

2. Meanwhile, steam 1/2 small box of baby spinach and press out any extra liquid. The recipe calls for a 10oz bag of frozen, but I wrote "1.5 lbs fresh spinach" in my cookbook the last time. Halfway through filling the shells realize you need to double the recipe. Steam the other 1/2 of the box.

3. Beat 2 eggs with 2/3 cup broth, ~1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (something more than 1 tub; we happened to have extra in the fridge), 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and the spinach. I gave up on the lemon zest when I couldn't grate the lemon with my grater.

4. Spoon the mixture into the shells, and layer them in a 2-quart baking dish. The recipe calls for a white sauce, but it's a lot easier to just empty a jar of your favorite red tomato sauce over them.

5. Bake, covered, at 300F for 30-35 minutes. Let stand ~10 minutes while you prepare a vegetable or salad. Top with extra Parmesan and enjoy while re-watching a favorite movie--might I suggest Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire?

Editor's Note: If you're interested in more FrDrDr recipes, check these recipes for 4-bean salad, gumbolaya, or maybe chickpea-saga spinach.

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