Do you remember that old Beach Boy’s song, “I Wish They All Could be California Girls” (1965)? They sing about girls around the country (including us Midwest girls) and say how they’ve been all around the world but couldn’t wait to get back to the “cutest girls in the world!” Well, I can tell you from experience that for some foodies, California is not the dream destination… It’s KANSAS!
At the end of June, I get to join From the Land of Kansas for the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City where business owners from all around the world come to find great products to take home and share with their customers. And for so many of them, the From the Land of Kansas pavilion does not disappoint! Because Kansas is known for down-home, wholesome food, our products are desired all over the world. We do eat well here in Kansas!
A couple years ago I made this hearty, creamy, delicious dish for the Fancy Food show, showcasing some of Kansas’ finest. And now you can make it, too! As you dive into these cheesy shells with the perfect bite of sausage and my rich, creamy marinara sauce, close your eyes imagine yourself surrounded by lots of handsome foreign men in suits, hungry for the best food around. That’s where we’ll be!
And for the PERFECT pairing with this dish, make my no-knead French Peasant Bread to sop up all of that creamy goodness. Enjoy!
Stuffed Pasta Shells with Sausage and Creamy Marinara
1/2 lb. Italian pork or beef sausage
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup whipping cream
14 oz crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. freshly minced basil
16 Barilla jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
16 oz small curd cottage cheese
8 oz ricotta cheese
2 handfuls baby spinach, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 egg, beaten
2 slices white sandwich bread, crumbled finely with fingers
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook sausage with onion until no pink remains and onions are translucent; deglaze pan with wine, stirring up any browned bits from bottom of skillet into sausage; add tomatoes, whipping cream and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside and keep warm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese with ricotta, spinach, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, egg and bread. Place approx. 2 Tbs of this mixture into each cooked jumbo pasta shell, then place shells into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
When all pasta shells are filled and placed into the baking dish, pour prepared marinara sauce over shells; sprinkle mozzarella over sauce. Bake, covered, for 30-35 minutes; remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Magnifico!
Now You’re Cookin’,
**These recipes were featured on Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen with From the Land of Kansas, as part of WIBW 13 News This Morning, June 2016. To order your favorite From the Land of Kansas products and ingredients, visit our new ecommerce site!
Here are some more delicious Fancy Food Show inspired recipes you might enjoy!
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. It may also contain “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”