If you're looking for a delicious, cheesy, gooey, and easy recipe for a potluck dinner or even a Casserole Shower, this recipe is for you. Aly Smith, a dear friend, Laurel Mercantile Co. manager, and a Home Town homeowner from season two have shared the recipe that she enjoys cooking (and partaking) the most. From Aly's kitchen to yours —enjoy!
Aly's Stuffed Shells Recipe
16 oz jumbo pasta shells
5 cups ricotta cheese
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (a little extra never hurts)
1 cup shredded parmesan
2 eggs lightly beaten
6 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian blend seasoning
1 large jar of spaghetti sauce (I use Rao's marinara because it is Jord’s favorite, but extra points if you are brave enough to make your own)
4 cups spinach
2 lbs ground Italian sausage
Brown and crumble sausage. Drain any excess fat, remove sausage and use same pan to wilt spinach. Cook the shells according to package directions.
In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, ½ cup of parmesan, lightly beaten eggs, oregano and garlic powder. Stir in spinach and sausage.
Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan with half the jar of spaghetti sauce, or just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Spoon cheese, spinach and sausage mixture into the shells and place shells open side up, very close together in the baking dish. Top each shell with a small amount of remaining spaghetti sauce and some parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (uncover last 5 minutes) until the cheese is bubbly.
I typically double or triple this for a Casserole Shower.
I bring (2) 9x9 pans for the expecting mom, and (1) 9x13 to swap. We've also served it for dinner the last few times, because it just makes so much.This is definitely a labor of love and takes a good afternoon from start to finish. I joke that I only make them once a year, but I can never turn down a friend when they need some comfort in the form of cheese.
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