This is one of those recipes that can easily be switched to meatless.
..and you can pretty much be safe in stuffing whatever you please into these shells and still get a successful recipe and yummy meal out of it.
What a versatile dish. Whoever ‘invented’ pasta shells had a heart for pasta like myself. And a brain for creativity in the kitchen. And if you have no creativity, or a knack for being in the kitchen..
bless your little heart.
No harm done- just leave it to me (and the other baagillion food bloggers of interent land) to provide you with recipes, steps, and the occasional pictures to along with.
Think for a second. You could change the cheese, the seasonings, the meat, the veg- and go for an entirely different shuffed pasta. How about a Cajun stuffed shell?
Shrimp, creole seasoning, bell peppers (red & green), red onion, tomatoes, celery, parsley, cheddar cheese.. top it off with a creamy white wine sauce.
From her suggested inclusion: Ground beef, bell pepper, yellow onion, cream cheese, Mexican blend cheese, enchilada sauce, cilantro.. and my suggestions: smoked paprika, chili powder, spinach, CHIPOTLE sauce..?
Endless I tell you, endless!
But, this version is classic Italian. You could take the short cut with a jarred pasta sauce, but run the risk of missing out on the twang of the banana peppers simmered into the sauce. Not to mention the sodium would be jacked.
Okayyyy.. not too terrible, but whats the big trouble of dumping a few cans of tomatoes and some dried seasonings and letting it simmer while you mix your filling and stuff your shells. Semi-homemade sauce at it’s best, people.
What you get out of that steamy oven is cheesy and rich. Not to mention heart healthy and protein packed.
Even if you skip the chicken sausage all together you’ll still get an excellent amound of protein from a few things:
leafy green spinach
cheese… glorious CHEESE
20 grams of protein (sans the meat) is perfectly veggie friendly.
I love these versatile dishes.
You want to know what else I love?
I love the little crispy brown bits of cheese and sindged spinach leaves poking out of my curled shells. Hopefully your weird thing with food isn’t texture.
Mine is.. yes, we all know .
Chicken, and all things that go with it. But then again, I ate this.
..And you should, too.
Go ahead, get your stuffed shell on.