Ricotta, Spinach, and Sausage Stuffed Shells

I’ve been trying to think of the best way to sell you on the “sausage” I used to make stuffed shells last night. I know you won’t care that my friend Stephen, literally the pickiest eater I have ever met in my entire life, asked me where he could buy some. No, that won’t convince you.

What about the fact that my dog tried to eat some?

Hmm. You’re right, he will eat almost anything.

What about if I say I rarely like a meat substitute? I never have, actually. I eat tofu all the time but I’m convinced it’s because 1) it’s usually the only vegetarian protein offered at restaurants and 2) it’s less intimidating than other meat substitutes in the fact that it tastes exactly like whatever you smother all over it.

I was so hesitant about using sausage (Btw, I don’t have time to be throwing quotes around that word all night, so if you see it, you know what I’m talking about) in a dish I hadn’t made before, but the Mister is a huge fan of sausage (giggle), and it was Valentimes’ Day after all.

So anyway, I threw caution to the wind and went for it …and I do hope my testament to its deliciousness will convince you to at least try it.

I started with a simple tomato sauce (canned/jarred works just the same I’m sure), a box of jumbo shells cooked al dente, and a ricotta mixture of the following:

Please note: I don’t think there’s a lot you can do wrong with the ingredients for the ricotta mixture. I just stick close to one egg per container of ricotta cheese and everything else is whatever suits your fancy.

  • Ricotta
  • One egg
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 links of Field Roast Spicy Italian Sausage, sliced and pan seared in olive oil
  • Tons of fresh spinach
  • Seriously, just keep adding spinach.
  • and chopped parsley
* The sausage will brown if you get the pan hot enough, I promise. Crispy and textured sausage is important to me too so trust me on this step.

We also made a salad of arugula, strawberries, walnuts, and goat cheese with a honey mustard vinaigrette. I could drink it, I really could.

You can tell that’s my plate because it has olives on it – and the boy hates olives. However, on our first date, he popped a giant green olive (ew, even for me) into his mouth to, as he later put it, “impress me.” Was he also trying to impress me when after finishing his pasta he ate the rest of my pizza?

I guess when your first date is upwards of a decade after meeting certain things are just more acceptable.

Sorry but it wouldn’t have been a proper Valentimes’ Day post without a nice little story…

“So why would I eat fake sausage when I could eat the real thing?”

I hear you, and honestly, I don’t know. We all have our reasons and I can appreciate that. But, if it’s better for your health and Babe gets one more day of freedom, who does it hurt in the end?

There you go…open up. Health and kindness taste real good, don’t they?

“No, Brit. This ‘sausage’ tastes like shit.”

Ah, well, I tried.

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