Friday, July 1, 2011

If he can't handle turning on the oven, he's basically worthless.

I'm leaving the hubby all by his lonesome next week, as I'm off to Buffalo to play with the parallel and her brand new bubba for a few days. Um, and according to the forecast, just in time.

I really don't worry about him when I'm out of town...he's a big boy—he knows his way around a kitchen. And if he's lazy, I know he'll be just fine with a bowl of frosted mini-wheats for dinner. But since he's going to have to deal with all the cat-related fun I normally take care of, I figured I'd be Nice Wife and make him something that he can just pop in the oven one night and pick at for a few days. Or take with to a 4th of July potluck. Or give to the cats...Whatever, I don't care, as long as it gets eaten.

Plus it was good practice-I'm planning on making a few dude-friendly freeze-and-bake meals for my girl and her hubby...with a 4 week old, I'm guessing they aren't doing a whole lot of cooking. I'm not going to attempt Italian in their kitchen, but the hubby will let me get away with not-quite-authentic here.

Cheese, Basil and Sausage Stuffed Shells
Dash of olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pre-cooked Italian-seasoned chicken sausage link, diced (use 2 if you want it meatier)
1 regular sized container of low-fat ricotta
2 cups shredded mixed Italian cheese (2% or part skim if possible)
1 egg
salt & pepper
dash of nutmeg
small handful chopped parsley
large handful chopped basil (about 1/4 cup or so)
Package of large pasta shells (or manicotti shells, either will work), cooked according to package directions
1 bottle of marinara

Preheat oven to 375.

While your pasta cooks (if you haven't done that yet), saute the onion, garlic and sausage in a little bit of oil for about 5 minutes or until the onion is a little transparent. Let cool. In large bowl, combine ricotta, 1.5 cups of shredded cheese, egg, nutmeg, a good pinch each of salt and pepper, parsley and basil. Stir in onion mixture.

Coat a large baking pan with cooking spray. Spread about a half cup of marinara across the bottom. When pasta is done, drain well, and fill each shell with a big spoonful of cheese mix, and place each stuffed shell cheese side up in cooking pan. When you've used up all the mixture (or you run out of room—either way, you may have a handful of shells left over), pour over remaining pasta sauce, spreading gently with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.

Cover loosely with foil, and bake about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 10 minutes or until cheese and melted and sauce is bubbly.

No comments:

Post a Comment