I liked this recipe, from the very nice folk at Cooking Light, but I believe it has some issues.
First off: the whole bidness of ‘lite’ and reduced whatever cheeses. Nope, not gonna do it; most of that stuff just turns a perfectly good cheese into a chemistry project. I went with all ‘regular’ cheeses – and added just a wee, tiny bit more at the end, because it was looking a might skimpy on top.
Except, I believe a tablespoon of sugar would’ve smoothed out the excess acidity of the peperoncini; and next time (and yes, this is a pretty good recipe, so there will be a next time), I will make a double batch of the sauce; the shells could’ve used it.
Sauce (I’d say double it):
•1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper*
•1/4 cup chopped peperoncini peppers
•1 (28 oz) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
•1 (8 oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
•1 tbsp sugar
Stuffing and Pasta:
•1 cup (4 oz) shredded provolone cheese, divided
•1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
•1/2 cup (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
•1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese (for topping)
•1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
•1 (9 oz) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped
•1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce
•20 +/- cooked jumbo shell pasta
First, boil the shells in well-salted water according to package diersctions (mine went 9 minutes), then drain, separate, and arrange on a baking sheet until ready to stuff
Preheat oven to 375°
Cook for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until thickened slightly.
Give it a taste.
Nice, no? But, mebbe, just a touch too vinegar-y? Add that spoonful of sugar and simmer for a few more minutes, taste again, then set aside.
Combine 1/2 cup of the provolone with the cream cheese and feta in a bowl with the spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, pepper, and Cajun Power sauce.
Spoon the tomato sauce over the shells – as you can see here, I think it could’ve used a bit more sauce – then cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and add the remaining half-cup of shredded provolone.
Looks kinda skimpy, doesn’t it?
Much more better!
Back into the oven, uncovered, for a few more minutes (five to ten) to nicely melt the cheese, and you’re done!
Not bad. Not bad at all.
But it’s be better with more sauce, a touch more cheese, mebbe that spoonful of sugar, and, go ahead, live life large; use that whole package of frozen spinach!