Tag Archives: mozzarella cheese

From that Ledge

“Sausage” and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shell Stuffing

I’m finally back in the kitchen, and hoping to stay upright and cooking for at least the next week or so…but we shall see how that plan goes!  I’ve been spending some of my down time going thru old cookbooks and recipe notes, keeping track of all the new things I want to try.  That’s one of the best parts of spring, all the new produce showing up at the markets – and being in a new city that also means checking out new to me markets!  The spinach in today’s recipe is one of those finds, as are some carrots that wound up going straight in to my belly via dip instead of soup – but that’s okay!  The spinach turned the stuffing a fantastic spring green color, and it worked perfectly with the Italian sausage and the simple sauce – perfection 🙂

From that Ledge

Serves: Serves 5-7


1 box of jumbo shells

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup vidalia onion, diced

2 tofurkey sausages (Italian style) - sliced

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

2 cups spinach, well rinsed and dried

1 spring fresh thyme

1 spring fresh rosemary

1 1/2 cup of your favorite red sauce

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded


  1. Cook the jumbo shells per box instructions - rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onion, garlic, and tofurkey sausage until brown. Place in blender along with the ricotta cheese, spinach, and herbs and puree well.
  3. Preheat oven to 425. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with 1/4 cup of your red sauce.
  4. Use a teaspoon to gently stuff the shells and place them in a single layer in the baking dish, placing them as close together as possible to prevent them from tipping over. Cover with the remaining sauce, and top with the shredded cheese
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese has slightly browned and sauce is bubbling.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving - Enjoy!

Normally I try to take a picture of the finished dish, but in this case the finished dish doesn’t look different from any other picture of stuffed shells.    The stuffing would also work great inside of ravioli, or as part of a vegetable lasagna!  This is a dish all about the filling, which is why I focused on that for my picture.  I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their soy challenge, and this will probably be the last soy dish on here for a bit since we are still on a low soy diet.  However there’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat!

Little Things

Caprese Grilled Cheese

No matter how fancy the meal, how exotic the ingredients, how elaborate the presentation it’s normally the simple dishes that stick with us.  Mom’s soup, Grandma’s candy cane cookies, Dad’s pasta sauce…those are the dishes that more often then not mean more than the most expensive dinner.  There is a reason, after all, that these are commonly referred to as comfort foods.  I can only guess what meals my future children will remember when they look back on their childhood, but if they are anything like their father this grilled cheese stands a chance of making the memory list.  It’s a switch on the standard grilled cheese, but nothing so elaborate that it “requires” a special occasion or a special trip to the grocery store.

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Makes 2 sandwiches


4 slices bread (I used homemade oregano bread)

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

6 slices fresh Mozzarella cheese

8 basil leaves


  1. Butter each slice of bread on one side. Place two slices butter side on on a hot griddle and cook for one minute over medium heat, then add the cheese, tomatoes, and basil leaves.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes, then carefully flip the sandwich and cook on the other side for 5 minutes or until desired doneness.
  3. Enjoy!

I’m sending this over to /52weeks as part of their lunch challenge, even though this sandwich will also great with a big bowl of soup for dinner.  At the end of the day, this sandwich is simple and delicious and perfect.