I’m not ashamed to say that I came up with this while walking down the frozen dinner aisle while grocery shopping.
Sometimes when Dave is working nights, I’m just not in the mood to cook- it just feels like way too much work to do for a 2-year old, who generally likes my cooking but is equally excited over a PB & J.
So occasionally I’ll pick up some frozen dinners for myself and/or the two of us. I was walking down the aisle, seeing if there was anything that would catch my eye.
Oh, stuffed shells. That sounds good. I should make those soon. With mushrooms! Maybe some spinach too. That mushroom ravioli looks good. Oooh chicken marsala. I bet I could make a marsala sauce for pasta.
And so on and so forth till we ended up here, with a vegetarian delight in pasta form. The marsala sauce is delicious and different than any other kind of sauce that I’ve ever put on pasta. I think this dish would also be great with a four cheese pasta sauce, alfredo sauce, marinara sauce or a creamy white wine garlic sauce.
In other words, any sauce. Any sauce at all!
Stuffed Pasta Shells with Creamy Marsala Sauce
- 6 oz. jumbo pasta shells 1/2 box
- 4 oz. sliced portobello mushrooms
- 1 T butter
- 1/2 cup previously frozen well drained chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped artichokes
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 cup 6-Italian blend shredded cheese
- For the sauce:
- 1 shallot
- 2 T butter
- 1/3 cup marsala
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and 1 tsp salt to the pan and saute until golden brown.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, spinach, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the filling into a large Ziploc bag with the tip cut off (large enough to let the vegetables pass through).
- Set aside a 13 x9 baking dish. Squeeze the filling into the cooled pasta shells and add to the baking dish.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter and 1 T olive oil to a medium-sized skillet. Add the shallots and saute until caramelized. Deglaze the pan with the wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits off the bottom. When reduced by half, whisk in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened.
- Pour half the sauce over the prepared shells. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until filling is hot and bubbling. Serve with the remaining marsala sauce.
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