The first Monday of every month means Patty Millay is back for another edition of What's Cookin'?  This month, Patty is serving up Stuffed Shells . . . two ways!  Check out the recipe.

From Patty:

It's lent and I always try to find an alternative to "Fishy Fridays"!  This is an option on stuffed shells two ways.  One can be straight cheese (or add shrimp as a protein).  The other is an option to add the protein of your choice (I did grilled chicken but browned chuck would be great too)!
 
This couldn't be more simple or quicker.  While your shells are cooking you can bring everything else together super quick! Any time we have the grill hot, I try to cook ahead as much as I can.  Grilled chicken tenderloins can be a quick add to a salad, a taco or a casserole.  You can freeze them and use as needed.  If your chicken dries out too much, simply soak then in warm water for 20 minutes before you need them - they pop right back very quickly.
 
If you feel compelled to make your sauce from scratch, be my guest...but I don't have the time or inclination to do so.  I used my favorite jar of marinara sauce and played it up some.  It came out YUMMY and was so quick and easy!  
Patty Ball Millay

STUFFED SHELLS

You'll need:
1 large box of  jumbo pasta shellsFilling:

1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (475 g) ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh chives or parsley
2 packages frozen spinach (well drained)
1 cup grilled chicken tenderloin (optional)

Sauce:
1 jar marinara sauce
2 cans chopped petite tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Boil jumbo pasta shells 12 - 13 minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt and a dash of olive or canola oil to the water.  Bring water to a boil and add your shells.  You want them al-dente'.  It almost killed me to take pasta off the stove before it was completely done but if you overcook your pasta, you'll have a heck of a time stuffing soggy shells!  Rinse in cool water and drain well.

Prepare your filling.  Drain your spinach until ALL the liquid is gone.  This can be a challenge but you don't want to add any extra liquid to our dish. Combine all three cheeses with spinach and herbs,  If you add a protein mix this in as well.  I used grilled chopped chicken but petite shrimp or even ground chuck would also be good choices.

Prepare your sauce.  I used 1 jar of my favorite marinara sauce and added 2 cans chopped petite tomatoes (drained well).  Mix in red pepper flakes and 1/4 cup chopped herbs.

Stuff your shells and arrange them in a baking dish (spray with cooking spray - pasta is sticky)!  Top them with sauce and sprinkle with a touch of mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake at 350* for 15 - 20 minutes.  Garnish with herbs and serve with garlic toast points and a green salad.

What's Cookin'? is sponsored each and every week by Murphy Appliance Company in Owensboro.