Cottage Cheese v. Ricotta
I think these are two products that either people prefer one or the other. Growing up, I think both my husband’s and my own family were more the cottage cheese type. I can still remember the very first time I had ricotta. It was back in the day when airlines still served meals to everyone on the plane. Just so happens they were serving lasagna. I was excited up until when I bit into it and felt like the ricotta was more comparable to kitty litter and Elmer’s glue combined. Ok maybe not exactly, but you get the idea. Also remember, it was airplane food so it already had one strike against it!
I can safely say now that I do like ricotta, but it took so taste bud therapy to recover.
My husband is not a fan of ricotta. So when I made these stuffed shells, I went back to my youth and broke out the cottage cheese!
So what do you need to make this?
Here is the list:
jumbo shells (I made about 30 but cooked extra in case some were damaged. Or that is my excuse to feed the chickens!)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 pound ground chicken (turkey/beef ok too)
1 jar pasta sauce
2 cups cottage cheese (or substitute with Ricotta if that is your thing)
8 oz shredded four cheese Italian blend (I used Sargento)
1/4 cup plus extra for serving, Parmesan cheese, grated
16 oz frozen spinach, thawed and dried well, Rachel Ray taught me to throw it in a towl and squeeze out the liquid.
1. Cook pasta shells according to package until al dente.
2. In a bowl, combine egg, Parmesan, shredded cheese and spinach.
3. Meanwhile, in a skillet sprayed with olive oil, sauté onion until soft add chicken and cook thoroughly.
4. Apply a light coat of pasta sauce to bottom of baking dish and then pour the rest of the sauce into the fully cooked chicken mixture.
5. Once shells are cool enough to handle, stuff with cheese/spinach mixture. Line them up in baking dish.
6. Cover shells with meat mixture. Cover dish with foil.