Monday, March 16, 2015

A Favor & Butternut Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells

First the favor.  In the comments below, please tell me, what is the first dish (main meal, dessert, etc.) that comes to your mind when you think of Mennonite food?  Ready, set, go!  Then please scroll back up and read the rest of the post.  I'll explain myself at a later date:-).

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It has been a LONG time since I've posted a recipe.  I honestly haven't been trying many new recipes.  Life has called for the predictable so that's what I've been providing and it's been working well.  But then somewhere in internet land I saw a link to a recipe for Butternut Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells.  Our family loves our standard stuffed shell recipe (which does incorporate spinach) but I loved the idea of being able to use some of the butternut squash patiently waiting in the pantry.  I even had some roasted and mashed ready in the freezer.

Turns out, they are delicious!  So here we are:-).


I made a few adjustments to the recipe.  A major one was deciding not to melt an entire stick of butter and pour it over the baked shells.  I don't know- that just seemed a little excessive when a nice sprinkling of Parmesan cheese suited the shells just fine.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Stuffed Shells (adapted from here)

2 cups roasted and mashed butternut squash
1 cup frozen spinach (drained and chopped if store bought, crumbled small if frozen fresh)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried sage
1 box large shells
Parmesan cheese

Cook the shells according to the directions on the box.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  While the shells are cooking, combine all the remaining ingredients except the Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.


Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of filling and lay seam side down in a 9x13 baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Stuff all shells.  Sprinkle with a generous dusting of Parmesan cheese and cover tightly with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and serve
immediately.

These offer a nice twist to a familiar recipe AND make use of butternut squash and spinach from the garden.

P.S.  Don't forget to answer my question at the top of this post.  Thanks! Pin It

37 comments:

  1. Shoo fly pie and 3 bean salad

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  2. Shoofly pie! And these shells look delicious.

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  3. OK, so my dad's parents are German Mennonite (living in California) and while I didn't grow up Mennonite, I ate plenty of my grandma's cooking (and great-grandma's). So I can't think of just one. But, I think the first descriptor would be "thrifty". :D As for foods - I love peppernuts at Christmas, zwieback appeared at any gathering we went to (dinner rolls, not hard toast), I loved my grandma's beerocks (they were the perfect vehicle for ketchup, LOL). Oh, and New Year's cookies on New Year's Day (more like an unshaped donut with raisins in them).

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  4. Poor Man's Steak served with mashed potatoes. Also for a dessert, a fruit delight. I'm sure you know what I mean, Berry Delight, Cherry Delight and so on. They go by many names but the basis of it is a crust(graham cracker or cookie like), sugary cream cheese filling and then pie filling on top.

    These are foods often served in my Mennonite family and the community I grew up in.

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  5. The cookbook "More With Less" is so well-thumbed a part of my kitchen life that recipes from it are my first thought of Mennonite cooking. Of all the many recipes in it that I regularly make, the breads are the most important to me, I suppose. Rather than a particular type of dish, though, I think of Mennonite cooking as being thrifty and nutritious and "from scratch"!

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  6. Ham loaf! It happens to be on this week's menu :)

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  7. chicken and dumplings with green beans

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  8. Baked goods..cinnamon rolls, bread,pies,etc.

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  9. I also think of pie...could be chicken pie or a sweet treat.

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  10. pies of all kinds, homemade sauerkraut then cooked to sweetness with pork or sausage,
    hearty stews with meat and root vegetables, dumplings on stew or on dessert baked fruit cobblers
    love homemade breads like pumpernickel and rye, pickles, etc......

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  11. Apple Pie from the Blue Gate in Shipshewana, IN.

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  12. Either home baked bread, or home made preserves. Or both, together.

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  13. Chicken and noodles in gravy with mashed potatoes and green beans.

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  14. Nothing specific, just good, homemade foods.

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  15. French Toast with Butter Syrup. There was an AWESOME Mennonite restaurant in our town and french toast was the specialty. The restaurant has since been sold to new owners. The french toast is still good but everything was better when it was still owned by the Mennonite family :)

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  16. Borscht and zweiback!

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  17. Pie. I'm not sure why that's the first thing that comes to mind, but it does!

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  18. At first I was going to say shoo fly pie, not that I had it often; it's just something you hear about. But I think, what I would really say is soft white bread, homemade of course, and strawberry jam.
    -Crystal

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  19. DEFINITELY vreneke (cottage cheese perogies with white gravy) with farmer sausage. Also, peppernuts!

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  20. My wedding cake. The Mennonite bakery in town did it and it was great. As is all of the baked goods.... Especially the cream cheese danish.

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  21. Sauerkraut and pork over mashed potatoes

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  22. For us Russian Mennonites: Verenike with cream gravy, tweibach for Sunday faspas, pluma moos whenever, and for Christmas, peppernuts.

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  23. Big soft iced sugar cookies, apple pie (from homegrown apples), beef and homemade noodles and pickled beets and eggs.....I learned to love all these foods in my Grandmother's kitchen....she was Penn Dutch. Janet

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  24. Roasted Chicken and gravy, mashed potatoes, dressing, creamed corn, lettuce salad with a cream dressing. For dessert, fruit salad (canned peaches and pears, pineapple, grapes and sliced bananas) and pie - Apple, cherry or dorda pie (raisin). Yum!!!!!

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  25. Shoofly pie comes to mind first, but I've actually never had it!

    Pie in general is the first thing I think about. Mmmm. Pie!

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Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

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