Five Cheese Stuffed Shells or Manicotti


Creamy, delicius and very satisfying.  These shells have it all.  I love the combination of all the cheeses stuffed into one little shell, with the robust red sauce on top.  You could also use manicotti shells as well.

These are great if you are feeding a crowd.  I doubled my recipe and it made four large pan fulls.  Great served with a light green salad and crunchy garlic bread.


Yumm, yumm, yumm.  Look at all those cheeses.  I like  putting spinach in my filling, but that ingredient is optional.  I really like the color and texture that it brings to the dish.


Make this red sauce, and while it is simmering, cook your pasta shells and mix together your cheese filling ingredients.  (You don’t have to use this recipe.  Make it with your favorite red sauce, or if you’re in a pinch for time just use a jarred sauce and take it up a notch with some sauteed onions and cooked and crumbled Hot Italian Sausage.)

If you have any red sauce left over, just freeze it for a quick dinner later.


Cook the shells just until they are al dente.  Remember that they’ll finish cooking in the oven.


Wring out all the extra water from the spinach, set aside.


In a large mixing bowl mix together the ricotta, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, Mozzarella cheese, diced Provolone cheese, sour cream and the egg.  Season with the onion powder and garlic salt.


Now add in the chopped spinach, basil and parsley.  Mix well.


Prepare your pan by spreading a layer of sauce on the bottom.


I filled a gallon sized plastic bag with the cheese mixture, made sure that the zip actually locked, cut the corner of the bag and started filling my shells.  Or, you could just use a spoon.


Once all the shells have been filled then top with more of the red sauce.


Top with a little bit of Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.  Cover and bake according to the directions below.

Not only are these delicious, feed a crowd and very filling, but you can make them up to one day ahead of time, too.  My kind of party food.

Five Cheese Stuffed Shells or Manicotti
From the Kitchen of Angie Curtis/Table Talk

15-oz ricotta cheese
6-oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup small diced Provolone cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 10-oz box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all liquids squeezed out (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) garlic salt
Basic Marinara Sauce with or without sausage
1 box of shells or manicotti shells, cooked al dente

Additional Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese to top shells with

In the large bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer, combine all the cheeses and sour cream together.  Then add in the egg, spinach, basil, parsley, onion powder and garlic salt.  Set aside.

Boil your pasta just until al dente, it will finish cooking in the oven.  Drain and allow shells to cool.

In a 9×13 baking dish put a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Stuff the shells with cheese mixture.  Place the shells in pan on top of the sauce.  Top shells with a little more sauce and lightly sprinkle with a little Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees (pre-heated) for about 30 minutes, uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or more, or until bubbling hot.

Serves 6 hearty portions.

 

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