Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Parmesan Crusted Chicken

This is a Rachael Lee meal - Part Rachael Ray, Part Sandra Lee. About a month ago I made a recipe from Rachael's 365-No Repeats book, the Spinach and Artichoke Calzones. That was pre-Delicious Meliscious, so it didn't make it in the blog. Anyways, the recipe used this pesto I'm listing below and I used the leftovers to make stuff shells that I threw into the freezer. I've never made stuffed shells before, so I'm just making this up as I go.

I got the shells out of the freezer last night and left them in the fridge. Are you supposed to cook them frozen or let them thaw? I didn't think to take out a container of the spaghetti sauce made from our garden along with it, so I used a jar of Newman's Own for this -thanks for the idea Aunt Sandy! Knowing I couldn't pass off stuffed shells as a meal to Aaron (no meat, ya know?), I made some parmesan crusted chicken along with it.

I forgot to take pictures of the pesto part of it in the shells before I covered them in sauce. But before I show you a picture, I have to talk about my pasta bowls. I love them. I wanted pasta bowls since we've moved into our house almost 2 years ago and could never find any I really liked. I had them on my Christmas list this year and got the BEST set from my Sister-in-Law, Michelle. Here they are...aren't they awesome? Thanks Michelle!

Pesto Recipe:

4 oz. walnuts (about 1/3 cup)
1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts
1 large garlic clove
zest of 1 lemon
a handful of flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
course black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups coursely chopped arugula or baby spinch leaves (I used spinach)

In the bowl of the food processor, combine the nuts, artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, cheese, some pepper, and nutmeg and pulse the ingredients until chopped. Turn the processor on and stream in the EVOO in a slow stream until the pesto forms. It should be thick and pastelike in consistency.

Then I cooked the shells, stuffed them with this pesto, threw them into the freezer. I poured them into a baking dish, covered with a jar of sauce and some mozzarella cheese and baked for about 40 minutes or so.

So, just as I put the shells into the oven, I breaded some chicken breasts using Italian bread crumbs, a few tablespoons of flour, and a couple handfuls of shredded asiago cheese. Normally I use parmesan, but I needed to use this asiago. I guess that means we had Asiago crusted chicken.

1. Dredge in breadcrumbs
2. Dip in milk
3. Dredge in breadcrumbs again

I browned the chicken on the stovetop and then threw them into the oven to cook with the shells until done.

I've made this chicken several times and always love it. The meal was great and very filling. That means there are lots of leftovers for Aaron's lunch tomorrow! Sorry the picture isn't very good.
We had dinner at 9:30 and I had a hard time getting the right color. Looks like this:


Joelen said...

Looks like a great dish and easy too! I also like those pasta bowls - what a sweet gift!

Ashlee Wetherington said...

look delish! i have those bowls too, they're gorgeous! i haven't used the giant pasta serving bowl yet though.

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