A great vodka sauce is something every cook should have in their recipe box. I don't remember how I stumbled upon this recipe for vodka sauce, but it's easy and can be used with just a simple pasta. I love it with these stuffed shells. Makes a great pasta bake for a group. Again, this was another recipe I used in Colorado served with garlic bread and Cesare salad.
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 (12 oz) box jumbo shells
-1 lb sweet italian sausage
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 (10 oz) box spinach, thawed
-1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
-2 Tbsp dried parsley
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese
-2 tsp salt, divided
-1 block cream cheese
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
-1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
-1/2 cup vodka
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 tsp dried basil
First, boil pasta shells in salted water. Add a little oil to the drained noodles so they don't stick to each other
Chop onion and sautee the onions with sausage. Remove the excess fat from the skillet
Thaw the spinach in the microwave according to the box. Make sure to drain the spinach. In a large bowl add the spinach, onions, meat, spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, garlic powder, 1 tsp of salt and pepper (phew..that's a lot, but it will be worth it!)
Have your sous chef mix up your pasta stuffing (or do it yourself if he's not around).
Stuff your shells and arrange in a single layer in a greased baking dish.
Sauce time!!! In a skillet over medium heat combine crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vodka, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, red pepper flakes, basil and 1 tsp of salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins. Add the block of cream cheese and stir until it melts.
Pour the sauce over the stuffed shells. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 10-15 mins at 350 degrees.
I sprinkled a little leftover parsley to the top for garnish. The best way is to serve this family-style on table with a big spoon!