Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stuffed: Shells & Pillows

Tomorrow is Friday. It hasn't been an awful week or anything, but it's just been one of those week's where I'm ready for it to be over. So, I am happy that tomorrow is indeed Friday. Saturday I plan to get up and do things around the house like my mom used to do on Saturday mornings. We're not in town very many weekends this time of year, so I am looking forward to a weekend home to get some things done. It's weird because usually I do these chore-type things tonight, but I'm not- well, I did take all of my husband's junk that he left everywhere (which does not bode well with my ocd-like habits) and threw it in his office; it was very therapeutic. No, tonight I'll relax, read, enjoy the sound of the rain, and make dinner.

Up tonight are ricotta-stuffed shells. This is a meat-free recipe that I'm adapting to make my own from an issue of Real Simple last year. I like this recipe because it's really easy and you can make as much or as little as you want. Tonight I'm not feeling particularly hungry, so I'm only going to make a few. To make the shells you'll need the following (this will make about 2 servings, you can adjust accordingly): 6-7 jumbo shells, 1/2 jar or 12oz of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce, 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, olive oil, and 4 generous handfuls of fresh spinach leaves. Preheat the oven to 400.

First, cook the pasta according the package directions. Drain them and run under cold water until cooled. While the pasta is working, sautee the spinach in a skillet with about 1 tbs of olive oil. Cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Next, pour your pasta sauce in a square baking dish (larger if you're making more shells). In a bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan (reserve a few pinches), sauteed spinach, and salt and pepper to taste. Then, gently stuff the shells with the ricotta mixture. Place the shells into the baking dish and top with the reserved parmesan. Bake the shells in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, until the shells are heated through. Increase the heat to broil for around 2 minutes, until the parmesan on top starts to brown.

While I was gathering my ingredients for tonight's dinner, I happened upon a bag of Easter Peanut M&Ms that husband and I bought last night. You should know that these are my favorite Peanut M&Ms that come out all year. I love the colors and there's just something different about the way they taste. I poured them into a bowl I painted last year and ate some with a smile of my face.

I blogged about making pillows last weekend in my previous post. I'm really not a great sewer, but I'm getting more practice. Here's a picture of the finished products. Most of them are in our living room and the long white one goes on our bed. The best part about them is that they only cost about $10 to make all four. We have a great fabric place in town that sells remnants that are perfect for making small pillows.


  1. I love this whole post Courtney and the pillows are beautiful!!! miss you

  2. these pillows are so pretty! i need to learn how to sew so i can make some