And you know, it's pretty disappointing to have spent the time, money and energy getting ingredients and putting together a meal just to see your kids pick at it and your husband pretend to enjoy it (even when said husband isn't a good liar so there's no point in him not just being honest).
So is it any wonder that we tend to stick with our same menu rotation week after week?
Fortunately, even though we may not always branch out and try something unique, it doesn't mean that we can't still celebrate the classics that we love... and there's no better day than October 17th as National Pasta Day!
That's right, National Pasta Day is October 17 and it is time to pay tribute to the perfection of pasta!
In the spirit of the occasion, Classico suggested we break away from the same old standard spaghetti and instead try creating a delicious new dish with one of their mouthwatering sauces. As we opened up the box containing our "Classic Creations" kit, it was clear that the most difficult decision would be deciding which of the two exclusive Classico recipes we should try.
Their new seasonal sauce, Classico Seasonal Selections Creamy Spinach & Parmesan, would be perfect in their Classic Lasagna as well as their Classic Stuffed Shells. How in the world would I choose?
After turning the decision over to my family, our Classic Stuffed Shells were underway.
Classic Stuffed Shells
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
1 jar (24 oz.) Classico Creamy Spinach & Parmesan Seasonal Sauce
18 jumbo shell pasta
1/2 pound sweet or hot italian-style bulk sausage
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Preheat oven 350°F. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions and drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, brown sausage, onions and garlic for 5 to 6 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring until small sausage crumbles form. Add Pasta Sauce and stir until well mixed. Spoon half of sauce mixture evenly into bottom of 13x9 baking dish.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg. Stuff each shell with about 2 Tbsp. of cheese mixture. Arrange stuffed shells in baking dish and spoon remaining sauce mixture evenly on top.
4. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and parsley on top. Bake for additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
|I omitted the sausage (two vegetarians in our family) as well as the onions (the girls won't eat anything with them) and this still came out looking marvelous!|
As soon as I had the pan out of the oven, any doubt that I had about this dish was gone as the aroma alone had my stomach growling! While we have eaten stuffed shells in the past, the combination of green spinach, plump tomatoes, parmesan cheese and cream in the Classico Creamy Spinach & Parmesan Seasonal Sauce definitely turned this dish into something special!
After only a few bites, Big Sister E first declared this meal "The bestest thing in the world," with a completely unprompted followup of, "I like this because of the cheese and the sauce. The sauce is really good." Coming from a child that typically doesn't like sauce of any kind on her pasta, that is a rave review!
Whether your family contains fans of red sauces, alfredo sauces, pesto sauces or more, Classico is sure to have them... along with many other varieties that just might be the next favorite! We will definitely be having these Classic Stuffed Shells again and I can foresee us picking up another bottle of the Classico Creamy Spinach & Parmesan Seasonal Sauce while it is available so that we can try the Classic Lasagna as well!
Be sure to visit Classico.com for a list of their large assortment of products, all sorts of delicious recipes, a savings coupon and more. Plus, thanks to their generosity, five people will soon be able to celebrate their own National Pasta Day as well, because...
Five lucky people will win (1) VIP coupon for a free jar of Classico sauce!
(Enter with the Rafflecopter form below. If you have any questions or problems entering, there is a video tutorial found here that can help.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Classico and received product, coupons, premium items and reader giveaway coupons as part of my participation. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.