Tag Archives: shells

On Patrol

Spinach and Shells


Trying something new with my site, in theory things should now be MUCH faster and hopefully posts/updates will stop disappearing.   Today’s post is a healthier twist on my standard lazy night dinner, a recipe that started back in college as it is easily double and can be made on little to no sleep.  Just requires some pasta, a leafy vegetable, and shredded cheese of some form!  In college this normally meant thin spaghetti, frozen spinach with onions, and whatever fake stuff was on sale.  Now that I have a bit more money, and still no time, I’ve been able to upgrade this recipe while reducing the sodium that goes along with fake cheese and fake (or canned) vegetables.  It still comes together in under 30 minutes, so perfect for late nights after work or for a late lunch when the day is slipping away.   As a bonus – it’s a green dish perfect for St. Patrick’s day!!!

Shells with Spinach

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, diced

3 basil leaves, chopped

1 vidalia onion, chopped

1/2 lb shells

2 cups spinach, chopped

Parmesan cheese (optional)

Pepper (to taste)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion and cook for an additional 10 minutes before adding the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta per instructions then reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Return the pasta, water, and garlic/onion mixture to the pasta pot.
  3. Stir in the spinach then top with cheese and season to taste with pepper and Enjoy!

I’m also sending this over to /r/52weeksofcooking for their hangover challenge as I’m fairly certain the first time I made this in college that was the case.   This recipe is also a great way to clean out the fridge or freezer, and no need to stick to just one vegetable!

You Are

Mushroom Stuffed Shells


Pomodoro Sauce

I apologize for the lack of posting, work and wedding have been kicking my ass and unfortunately my time in the kitchen has been suffering.  While I’m still cooking, I’m falling back to my old faithfuls.  This recipe is one that I’ve been making for years but I decided to try something different this time and stuff it with more than just yummy cheese.  I also pulled out one of my favorite sauce recipes and splurged for some fresh basil since my summer supply has long since been depleted.   I did use canned tomatoes instead of fresh, but that was a judgement call after seeing the sad tomatoes at the store.  I try to avoid using canned produce as much as possible, but sometimes it has to be done.   Fingers crossed my vegetable garden will do great this year and I’ll be able to try canning some of my own vegetables.  Those are some canned vegetables I could certainly get behind!

Stuffed Shells

Serves: 5-6


1/2 lb large shells pre-cooked and cooled

2 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 lb wild mushrooms (I used a mix of shitake and cremini)

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 cup Parmesan cheese, evenly separated

1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, separated

3 basil leaves, finely minced


  1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5minutes, before adding the mushrooms. Cook for additional 5minutes, the mushrooms should be tender but firm and the garlic/onion should be a dark golden color. Set aside and allow to cool
  2. In a large bowl mix together the cheeses and basil. Once the mushroom onion mixture has cooled, stir it into the cheese mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Gently stuff the shells with the cheesy mushroom mixture, each shell should get about 2tbsp of the mixture. Place them in a single layer at the bottom of large baking dish.
  5. Bakes covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and then top with the remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is brown around the edges.

Pomodoro sauce


2 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 basil leaves, finely diced

1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, low sodium if possible

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 7minutes, until the garlic begins to turn golden.
  2. Add the basil and tomatoes, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then pour over the shells (or any other pasta dish)

In wedding news, things are coming together and I thin I have everything figured out at this point.  We did our tasting this past Monday and it was amazing!  Fingers crossed my guests will enjoy everything as much as we did, tho I’m not worried since we have such a wide variety of thing for them to try.