Recipe: Sausage and Kale Stuffed Shells

One of my favorite things about being an avid reader of food blogs (over 50 in my Feedly that I read religiously!) is reading a new post and being completely inspired. When I saw Shutterbean’s recipe for Sausage and Kale Stuffed Shells I thought to myself: YES, no more dinner rut!! Followed immediately by: Why didn’t I think of that?!? Dang.

I have to confess that I first made this recipe two weeks ago. And then I made it again this past weekend. So we’ve been eating stuffed shells for two weeks – happily. This recipe is that good, is what I’m saying.

Shutterbean’s Sausage and Kale Stuffed Shells (with minor tweaks made my me, makes 2 trays/40 stuffed shells)
Sausage and kale mixture:
7 sausages, removed from casing
15 oz. kale (roughly 6-7 cups), chopped
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. red pepper flake
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. pepper
Cheese/shell filling:
16 oz. (1 lb.) whole milk ricotta cheese
16 oz. (1 lb.) fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
12 oz./1 box pasta shells
1 jar of your favorite red sauce

I’m now officially obsessed with this bagged organic tuscan kale I found at Trader Joe’s. Before cooking I rinsed, patted dry, trimmed the stems, and gave it a rough chop.

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To begin I removed the sausages from their casing and cooked over medium high heat in a big pan with EVOO. The key here is to use a spatula (or any flat utensil) to break the sausage up into crumbles as it cooks – the smaller the better. Once the sausage has cooked through (6-8 minutes), add the kale and mix together. Add the red pepper, oregano, and black pepper here too. Cook together until the kale has softened. Set aside to cool. I actually divided this whole mixture up into thirds – 2/3 for the shells and 1/3 to mix into the sauce I’d be serving over the shells.

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While the sausage and kale cools, move on to making the cheese stuffing. In a big bowl mix together the cheese, egg, oregano, and pepper.

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After the sausage and kale has cooled, stir in the cheese mixture.

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The last prep step is to make the shells – boil over high heat for 8-10 minutes until al dente and then rinse with cold water.

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Now it’s time to assemble the stuffed shells! Start by prepping the baking dishes you plan to use. I used two 12×9 baking pans and put 2 cups of red sauce in the bottom of each. Next, stuff each shell with a heaping spoonful of the cheese stuffing mixture and place into the pan. Having an assembly line will make stuffing the shells go much easier!

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As noted, I ended up with two trays – roughly 40 stuffed shells.

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I sprinkled a bit of parmesan cheese over the top before baking.

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Cover with tinfoil and bake on 350 degrees for 15 minutes, remove the tinfoil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

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Stuffed shells are a little labor intensive but they are so worth it. This picture is not deceiving – they really are as good as they look! We are partial to classic Italian dishes in my house and could eat this type of food for every meal – rustic, hearty, comforting, and delicious.

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About Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.
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4 Responses to Recipe: Sausage and Kale Stuffed Shells

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