Y’all are bound to realize that flowers just keep on popping up all over the place around here for the next week or so, even when they really have no reason to be there. Ya’ know what? It’s Valentine’s Day and I think that calls for flowers. Pretty much, ya’ll are just gonna have to deal. They’re pretty, I like them, and they make me happy. Hopefully, they’ll make you happy too. We can all use a little bit of happy right now, right?
Speaking of happy or perhaps the complete opposite, I can’t seem to decide on what to get the B.O.B. Bob for Valentine’s Day. Any thoughts? I had no problem coming up with this Ditch The Red – Valentine’s Wish List for me and several of the women in my life, however, B.O.B. Bob’s pretty gosh darn hard to shop for. If he wants something, he goes out and buys it immediately. What do you get the guy who has every single tool known to man at his disposal?
I’m currently trying to talk B.O.B. Bob into going to Knoxville, TN later this month for a three-day weekend to see John Pardi play with Dierks Bentley. I can’t seem to listen enough to his upbeat country music lately and I really want to see him in concert. It would be peachy-keen-jellybean to see him play live and have a little get away to someplace new at the same time, and after looking at his tour dates, it seems like one of the few locations that may actually be doable. Fingers crossed; I have a feeling B.O.B. Bob’s going to make me wait until summer when they come to play at the much hated Jiffy Lube Live Pavillion.
Until then, I guess I’ll just sit around here surrounded by flowers and eating loads and loads of these Spinach and Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells. This cheese-packed recipe makes enough to feed an army, or in our case, four people during a Super Bowl viewing, three people on a last-minute guest for dinner evening, and two people on two other occasions. Thankfully this pasta casserole was so tasty that neither B.O.B. Bob nor I got tired of eating it. That’s a good thing. A really good thing. Perhaps we’re just tired of eating So Much Soup.
Anyway, with Valentine’s Day being next week, this is the perfect dish to make for the love of your life. You can really make this dish over-the-top delicious by using this recipe for Game Day Overnight Crockpot Tomato Sauce, which will yield exactly the amount of tomato sauce you will need for this recipe. All you need to do is throw some flowers onto the middle of the table for decoration and you have a romantic dinner for two, or four, or six, or even eight. And if you’re lucky, maybe the meal will go over so well, that the love of your life will insist on taking you to Knoxville, TN. I wouldn’t count on it though.
- 1 (10-oz.) Package Fresh Spinach
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 (12-oz.) Box Jumbo Shells
- 16 Pepperoni Sandwich Slices
- 2 (15-oz.) Containers Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Cup Shredded Asiago
- 2 Teaspoons Hot Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 5 Cups Chunky Tomato Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Shaved Parmesan
- 1 1/2 Cups Freshly Shredded Mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, saute the spinach, olive oil, and pinch of sea salt over high heat until wilted; set aside.
- Fill a large pasta pot with water, add 1-teaspoon of sea salt, and then bring to a boil over high heat. Dump the shells into the boiling water, stir, and cook for 9 minutes.
- Drain the shells and then place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer to cool.
- Place a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate, cover with 8 slices of the pepperoni, add another paper towel on top, and then microwave for 1 minute. Use your hands or a pair of scissors to tear or cut the pepperoni into small pieces. Repeat with the remaining pepperoni slices.
- Place the wilted spinach, ricotta, asiago, hot sauce, basil, oregano, 1/2-teaspoon sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Fill each shell with a spoonful of the spinach and ricotta mixture.
- Spread 3-cups of the tomato sauce evenly into the bottom of a large baking dish.
- Arrange the shells on top of the sauce, pressing them into it slightly.
- Top with the shaved parmesan and half of the pepperoni.
- Spread the remaining tomato sauce over everything with a silicone spatula, and then top with the shredded mozzarella and remaining pepperoni.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese turns brown and begins to bubble.
- Microwaving the pepperoni ahead of time helps to cut down on the amount of oil in this recipe.
- Using freshly shredded or shaved cheese in this recipe really makes a difference. I encourage you to never purchase pre-shredded or shaved cheese.
- Make sure to use a baking dish like this Pyrex one. It’s large enough to allow all of the shells to be lined up in a single layer and the lid makes it easier to store leftovers.
- I highly suggest you use this recipe for Game Day Overnight Crockpot Tomato Sauce for this recipe. It is the perfect amount of sauce for this dish and tastes amazing.
- Add a few cloves of fresh crushed garlic to the cheese filling in lieu of garlic powder.
- Top this dish with a light sprinkling of this Legion of Spice This is Sparta – Best Mediterranean Herb Rub & Seasonings, or use a few teaspoons of this seasoning in lieu of all of the other seasonings in the cheese filling.
- This 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker Crockpot makes it easy to make large batches of homemade tomato sauce without slaving away in the kitchen.
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