Stacey's Savory & Sweet Home Cooking

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Italian Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on August 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

(Photo Credit for above: Amy Florentino & Tina Baron)

Makes 6 servings

For Shells

1lb (about 6 small links) Sweet Italian Sausage. (Or ground sausage if available).

 1 Tablespoon of EV Olive Oil

1 Box of Jumbo Shells

1 14oz Container Ricotta Cheese

2 Cups Baby Spinach Leaves

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Egg

Salt & Pepper

For Tomato Cream Sauce

1 Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1/2 med Yellow Onion, chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

4 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons of Flour

1 Pint Heavy Cream

2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder

Salt & Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Preheat large (fairly deep, if you're using it for sauce as well), skillet on medium heat for sausages. If you have sausage links; using a small knife, carefully remove outside casing. Add oil to heated pan. Brown sausage and beak down into smaller pieces as it's cooking. A few minutes before they're done, add in spinach and let wilt.

Set the browned sausage into a large bowl. I left about 1/4 of it aside on a plate to add into the sauce later. To the bowl, add the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup of  the mozzarella, parmesan, egg and sprinkle salt & pepper. Mix to incorporate ingredients well.

Start a pot of water to boil for the pasta.

For the sauce, I used the same large skillet that I cooked the sausage in. (As long as there aren't any really burnt pieces on the bottom.)

Chop the whole tomatoes into bite size pieces. Save the sauce from the can. Add butter to the pan on medium heat and let melt. Once the butter is half-way melted, add the onions and cook until butter is completely melted. Add in minced garlic and let cook for another minute. Sprinkle in flour and whisk well. After cooking for about 2 mins, whisk in heavy cream. Let the sauce thicken for another 3-4 minutes while continuing to whisk. Once sauce is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon, mix in the chopped tomatoes, sauce, parmesan cheese and left over sausage. Season with garlic poweder and salt & pepper to taste. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice or a bit of lemon zest if you have it handy. I didn't do it here, but I love the hint of lemon in a cream sauce! You can leave sauce on a low heat until ready to use and serve.

Once water comes to a boil, salt, and add pasta. Cook about 9-10 minutes. Drain out water from shells and put back into pot. I added a bit of oil and left a little bit of the pasta water in with the shells to prevent them from sticking.

To assemble shells, take a 9X10 (or larger) glass dish and add a layer of sauce to the bottom, just enough to cover. Spoon filling into each shell and place on top of sauce. Once dish is filled, sprinkle the tops with the left over 1/4 cup of mozzrella cheese. You can add more or less depending on your desired cheesiness

Bake for 20-25 minutes uncovered. Serve with the left over sauce and crusty bread to soak up the tasty sauce! Enjoy! :)

Spinach and Artichoke Farfalle

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on June 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Think spinach and artichoke dip as a pasta dish. All those great creamy, cheesey and garlicky flavors mixed with fresh spinach, marinated artichokes and tomatoes. So. Good.

(This recipe was loosely inspired by Lauren's Latest Spinach & Artichoke Lasagna. Recipe:http/


1lb Box Farfalle Pasta

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6oz Jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, chopped

1 Large Tomato, de-seeded and chopped

1 Medium Onion, chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

4 Cups of Fresh Spinach

3 Oz Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons Flour

2 Cups of Milk

1 Tablespoon Prepared Pesto (optional)

1/2 Tablespoon Salt

1/2 Tablespoon Pepper

1 Teaspoon Fresh Parsley, chopped - garnish


In a large, deep saute pan, on medium heat, add oil and saute artichokes, tomato and onion with salt and pepper. Cook until onion softens and becomes translucent. Add in garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrent. Lower heat and let veggies simmer together.

In a sauce pan on medium heat, add butter and melt. Whisk in flour, and continue to whisk for 2 minutes. Add in milk and continue whisking until it thickens. Stir in cream cheese, parmesan cheese and pesto (optional). Stir well to combine until cream cheese melts. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Pour sauce into pan w/ veggies. Add in spinach to the same pan and stir until all of the spinach wilts.

Boil water and cook pasta per direction on box, about 12-13 minutes. Drain pasta when done, and add to pan with the sauce/veggies. (Or vice versa if it won't fit.) Mix pasta well to coat with sauce.

Garnish with fresh parsley and/or a sprinkle more of parmesan cheese. Enjoy!!

Pasta Al Fresco

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on May 30, 2012 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (1)

Some of the best dinners come from simply walking around the grocery store and picking out the freshest, best looking produce, and then building the dish from there. That's how I ended up here. It started as a vegetarian dish, but I have to refrain from calling it so, due to the chicken broth used. But, feel free to use vegetable broth in it's place. Heck, even switch out the veggies to what looks best or what is on sale at your favorite store. The possiblities are endless! :D

And don't judge. I happen to love Stop & Shop. They happen to have a really great produce section and that chicken broth was only $1.00! For organic! Not everything has to be Gucci and Prada. ;)


1 Box Rotelle Pasta

1lb Asparagus, cut to bite size pieces

1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

2 Portobello Mushroom caps, thinly sliced

1 Shallot, finely chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

Juice of 1 Lemon

Zest of 1/2 of a Lemon

16oz Chicken Broth

1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus more for garnish

1 Teaspoon Dried Basil

3 Tablespoons of Butter

1/2 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Teaspoons Salt, more or less to taste

2 Teaspoons Pepper, more or less to taste


First, chop asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, shallots and garlic and leave aside.

In a large skillet, on medium heat, melt butter and add oil. Stir in asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, salt & pepper, and saute for about 10-15 minutes.

Once asparagus has slightly softened, add in shallot and garlic. Stir and cook for a few minutes.

Pour in chicken broth and add the zest of half of a lemon and all of the juice. Stir in a 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese and stir well. Add in basil and some more salt & pepper to taste. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover to let asparagus cook until tender.

Meanwhile, In a large pot, boil water for pasta and cook pasta for about 10 minutes.

Drain pasta and combine with the veggies and sauce.

Serve with a sprinkle more of grated parmesan cheese and/or some more lemon zest.

Eggplant & Mushroom Linguine w/ Ricotta

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on April 6, 2012 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (2)

This is kind of a deconstructed version of eggplant parmesan, but with mushrooms...and linguine. Another hearty meal that also rings in under $20 and feeds at least six. Better yet, it's super delicious.

2 Whole Eggplants (I used graffiti for it's appearance, but taste-wise it doesn't matter.) thinly sliced

1 Box Linguine Pasta

2 Portobello Mushroom Caps, thinly sliced

1 Small Onion, chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped

1 28oz can San Marzano Whole Tomatoes

1 28 oz can Tomato Sauce

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese

6-8 Leaves of Basil, chiffonade

1/2 Tablespoon Salt

1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablepoon Onion Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Sugar

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Butter

In a large pot, on medium heat, add oil and butter. Saute mushrooms, onions and eggplant until eggplant is soft. Add salt & pepper and garlic. Let garlic cook for about 1 minute. Add whole tomatoes and with a spoon break the tomatoes up into pieces, then add sauce. Sprinkle in garlic & onion powder, parmesan cheese, sugar and a little bit more salt & pepper to taste. Stir in basil and turn heat down to low. Boil water for pasta and cook linguine for about 9-10 minutes. Drain and add to pot with sauce and stir well to comine. Serve with a sprinkle of mozzarella on top and a dollop of ricotta cheese. I like to stir in the ricotta before I take my first bite!

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on March 25, 2012 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Sweet roasted red peppers and creamy cheesey alfredo sauce make a perfect combination.

2 Red bell peppers, roasted

1-1/2 lbs Ground Sweet Italian Sausage ( or ground beef )

1/2 Small onion, chopped

2 Cloves garlic, minced

1 Quart heavy cream

3 Tablespoons butter

1-1/2 Tablespoons flour

1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons herbed goat cheese

1 Box linguine pasta

1 Tsp salt

1 Tsp fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place peppers on sheet pan and roast for 10 mins, turning peppers every few minutes. When done, cover with tin foil and let cool. In a large skillet, brown sweet italian sausage, drain fat, and set aside. In a large sauce pan on medium heat, melt butter and add onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Let them cook for 2 mins. Add flour and mix well. Let cook for another few minutes then add cream while stirring. Let sauce thicken and reduce heat to low. Add in parmesan and goat cheese. Stir or whisk well until melted. Once peppers are cooled, peel and chop into small pieces and add to sauce, along with sausage. Keep on low heat. Boil water for pasta, and cook for 10-12 minutes. Once pasta is done, combine with sauce. Garnish with some chopped parsley.

Lasagna w/ Beef & Sweet Basil Tomato Sauce

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on March 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

No beef? Just Cheese? Veggie? There are so many variations of lasagna. Beef just happens to be my favorite.

1 Box Lasagna Noodles

1lb Ground Beef

1 Cup Finely Shredded Mozzarella

For Sauce: (See Sweet Basil Tomato Sauce – add ground beef)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Whole Medium Onion chopped

4-6 Cloves Garlic chopped

2 Cans 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes

1 Can 28 oz Tomato Sauce

1 Can 28oz Tomato Puree

½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

2 Tsp Sugar

1 Tablespoon Salt

2 Tsp Pepper

6-8 Leaves Fresh Basil

For Filling:

1 Large Container Whole Milk Ricotta

1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup Finely Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

2 Eggs beaten

1 Tablespoon Parsley

½ Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

First, make sauce. Using a 4 Quart pot, on medium heat, add oil and onions. Once onions are translucent, add garlic and let sauté for a few minutes. Add drained diced tomatoes. Stir and let simmer for a few minutes. Add sauce, puree, paste, and parmesan cheese. Bring to slight boil and reduce to simmer. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Chiffonade basil, add to sauce and stir. Brown ground beef in skillet on med high heat. Drain grease and add beef to sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil water and cook lasagna noodles according to directions on box. Drain noodles and pour a little bit of oil over them so they do not stick and set aside to slightly cool. In a bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, parsley, eggs, salt & pepper. Mix well. In a deep 9x13 baking dish, start with a layer of sauce. Carefully take the pasta and layer to cover, slightly over-lapping edges. Put a fairly thick layer of cheese mixture on top of pasta and spread evenly. Continue with another layer of sauce, then noodles, and so on. * (The layers of sauce should be fairly thin so lasagna does not come out watery). The last layer should be topped with sauce, then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese to cover. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Sweet Basil & Cherry Tomato Pasta

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on March 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a light but tasty dish, packed with fresh flavor.

1 Box Angel Hair Spaghetti

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes each cut in half

½ Cup Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic minced

½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

6-8 Leaves Chiffonade Fresh Basil

Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Boil water and cook pasta per directions on box. While cooking, in a bowl combine halved tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, cheese, and basil. Sprinkle salt & fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir ingredients to combine. Once pasta is drained, put back in to pot and pour tomato mixture over pasta and stir well. Serve with a little more grated parmesan cheese on top.

Lasagna Spinach Rolls

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on March 14, 2012 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This has become a new favorite!

(Photo credit: Amy & Tina)

For Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch ground nutmeg

For Lasagna

1 Large container whole milk ricotta cheese

1 (10-ounce) package frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1 large egg, beaten to blend

3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 Box lasagna noodles

2 cups marinara sauce

2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


       To make thesauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase theheat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and isthick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeginto the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

Adda tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrangethe noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them fromsticking

In a13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish, pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out the lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread a large spoonful (about3 tablespoons worth) of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle.Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagnarolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in thedish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarellaand remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Covertightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles,about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomesgolden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile,heat the remaining marinara sauce in a


Italian Sausage w/ Cheese Tortellini's in a Garlic Lemon Cream Sauce

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on March 14, 2012 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I believe this is one of my boyfriend's favorite dishes. The touch of lemon in the sauce make the tomatoes and the sausage delectable!

1 Pkg Ground Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage

1 Pkg Barilla Three Cheese Tortellini

3-4 Cloves Garlic Minced

3 Tablespoons Butter

1-1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

2 Tablespoons Flour

1 Pint Grape Tomatoes each cut in half

1 Lemon juice & zest

Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon Parsley

Heat non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Brown sausage and drain fat. Set aside. Boil water and cook tortellini’s per directions on bag. In the same skillet, melt butter and add flour. Whisk together and let cook for 2 minutes. Add heavy cream and continue whisking for a few more minutes. Add garlic, zest of half a lemon, juice of whole lemon, grape tomatoes, sausage, a sprinkle of salt & fresh ground pepper, and let simmer. Once tortellini’s are drained, add into sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle with parsley when served.


Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Posted by Stacey @ Savory & Sweet on March 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The best recipe for mac & cheese I've tried yet! Feel free to switch out the cheeses for you favorite melty cheese!

1 Box Cavatappi Pasta (Yes, it is the BEST for Mac & Cheese)

1 Quart Milk

8 Tablespoons Butter 1 Stick

½ Cup Flour

2 Cups Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

½ Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

½ Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Nutmeg

½ Tsp Ground Mustard

1 Cup Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions on box and drain. Drizzle a little oil on pasta so it doesn’t stick. In a small sauce pan, heat milk but do not boil. In a 4 quart pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for another minute or two, until thick. Take pot off heat, and add cheeses, about a cup at a time, whisking until each cup is melted. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and ground mustard. Add pasta to pot and stir. Pour mixture in deep baking dish. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add to bread crumbs in a bowl and mix. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is bubbling and golden.