If you're anything like me, you saw "goat cheese" in the title and said, "SOLD!"
I made up this recipe a year or so ago to dispose of a bunch of leftover ingredients in our fridge and pantry. So, if you go out and buy ingredients specifically for this recipe, know that the ingredients tend to be in lots of other family-friendly recipes. You can also mix up the ingredients however you'd like. In fact, I might suggest trying a different type of marinara sauce. Whatever works for you and yours! The only thing I find to be the crux of essentialness in this recipe is the goat cheese. Please leave that in there. It's so good and creamy.
Sausage, Veggie & Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells (by me)
-Olive oil for sauteeing (about 1 tablespoon)
-2 Sweet Italian Turkey Sausages, casings removed
-1/3 cup white onion, minced
-1/3 cup zucchini, finely chopped
-1/3 cup (or more) red pepper, finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
-4 ounces goat cheese log, softened
-20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked to package specifications
-1 jar Sweet Basil Marinara sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 and get your pasta cooking.
2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausages, crumbling with spatula. When cooked through, add all vegetables and seasonings, mixing thoroughly. Saute for a few minutes, until vegetables are tender.
3. Place the mixture in a large mixing bowl. To the mixing bowl, add goat cheese log. Mix until everything is coated with the goat cheese.
4. Once the jumbo shells are cooked and cooled down with cold water, begin stuffing them. It's easiest to use a regular spoon to assist you in stuffing--but your hands will definitely get covered in delicious cheesy goodness anyway. You may want to be a little conservative when stuffing the shells, so that all 20 can be filled. You can always go back and add more to shells if needed.
5. Cover the bottom of a 13x9 pan with a thin layer of marinara sauce. Place the stuffed shells seam side down in the pan. Cover well with the remaining sauce.
6. Cook in oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes or so before serving.