Broccoli Spinach Stuffed Shells

While I was making Merle's Valentine's Day lunch last week, it dawned on me that the sandwich filling would make a great filling for stuffed shells. Swapping the cream cheese with ricotta cheese and adding broccoli made a tasty dinner. I personally love stuffed shells and they serve as great little vessels for hidden treasure. At least that's what I tell Merle when she asks about all the veggies inside ;) What I like most about this recipe besides the extra veggies, is that it only requires one pan (the veggies aren't pre-cooked), which means fewer dishes for me to wash. Another factor that makes stuffed shells perfect for weeknight meals is that they stay fresh for several days. Three days later, they taste just as delicious as the day they were cooked. This recipe is a winner for foodies and picky eaters alike. Enjoy!

Broccoli Spinach Stuffed Shells
Serves 6

1 package jumbo shells 
16 oz package ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 head broccoli, chopped into small pieces (roughly 3 to 4 cups)
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
24oz tomato sauce
2 Tbsp water
2 cups shredded mozzarella

In a large stockpot, bring salted water to a boil. Boil the shells for nine minutes and drain immediately to prevent further cooking. Meanwhile combine the ricotta cheese, broccoli, spinach, and spices.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large baking dish, pour in one and a half cups of tomato sauce and the water. Once cool enough to touch, fill the shells with the ricotta veggie mixture. Place each stuffed shell face down in the sauce. After all of the shells are filled and situated in the baking dish, pour the remaining tomato sauce over the shells. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for thirty minutes.