Every time I make this dish for potlucks and receptions I get requests for the recipe! It freezes beautifully and combines a lot of great flavors. Think of it as lasagne in a shell!
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained/pressed
8 oz. cream cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. cottage cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, Italian seasonings to taste
1 box of jumbo macaroni shells, cooked and drained
Large can of spaghetti sauce, any flavor
Cook the macaroni shells according to package directions, rinse in cold water, and separate them on wax paper. For the filling, cook the sausage and onion together, drain, and either chop with a pastry cutter or with a blade in the food processor. Press all the liquid out of the spinach. Combine the meat, spinach, cream cheese, egg, 1 C. of the mozzarella, the Cheddar, the cottage cheese and the Parmesan in a large mixer bowl and mix well. Fill the pasta shells and place in a greased/sprayed 9×13” pan, top with spaghetti sauce. Cover and bake at 350º for 45 minutes. Top with remaining 1 C. of mozzarella and bake uncovered about 5 minutes more.
Kitchen Hint: I usually have an “overflow” pan because it’s better if the filled shells aren’t crammed too tightly into the 9×13” pan.