But first… Kent & I are having a blast with our first garden.
I love that he gets into it as much as I do, maybe even more. He takes such good care of it, so much so that he really would probably rather I stay out of there. Since we had the nasty SNAKE sliding through last week, I’m OK with that. (However, I was in charge of fertilizing with some fish poop stuff we got from our all-natural guy – notice how big all our plants are? Well, maybe his watering and weeding had more to do with it…?) Thankfully, Joe was home when the snake showed up – he got it out and threw it down into the woods while I bravely screamed from the deck. Believe it or not, I was still a big girl when I needed to harvest some spinach yesterday for this recipe. I checked the perimeter, got in, clipped it off, and got the heck out.
Besides the spinach, we also used our OWN fresh herbs in this recipe, right from our pots on the deck. I can’t believe how exciting it is to eat what we’ve grown ourselves, and hope we don’t ever take this for granted.
- 1 box jumbo pasta shells — one box is plenty. It makes a lot.
- 2 batches of my homemade yogurt cheese. (Update: Often I'll also add in some garlic Boursin cheese, and maybe some small-curd cottage cheese, too. The yogurt cheese was a touch too sour for my family (I knew it wouldn’t fly), probably because I let it hang too long, so I also added 1 1/2 t. palm or coconut sugar to take the edge off and it worked perfectly – everyone ate it! )
- I mixed in the spinach that was ready in our garden, along with a big bowl full of our herbs: parsley, 2 kinds of oregano, basil, and thyme. I tore everything into small pieces.
- 4 garlic cloves and another 1/2 t. of garlic powder just because I love it. (Kent thought it was a bit heavy on the garlic, he’s a garlic wimp, though.)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 jars of your favorite organic marinara
- Shredded parmesan to sprinkle inside and on top of the shells
- Mozzarella, parmesan, or your favorite cheese for the top
Start by boiling and draining the shells and setting aside to cool. Mix your cheeses, spinach, herbs, garlic, sea salt, pepper and spoon it into cooked, jumbo pasta shells.
Set them into a buttered 11 x 14 stainless steel or glass baking dish. (Avoid aluminum or Teflon whenever you can.) Pour the jars of your favorite pasta sauce over the top, or use your own if you’re lucky enough to have some put up from last summer. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. I already had some mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan shredded, so that’s what I used.
Bake at 375* for about a half hour, or until it’s bubbly and the cheese is golden brown.
It tasted really good! Let me know if you like it. 🙂
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