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Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Portabellas with Sausage Ragu

This was a very busy week with traveling for work, web events and work events. I was honestly a bit tired and blah. So when I got home, I was in the mood for some serious comfort food. This means it’s not even kind of on the light side. But it is chock full of veggies and wonderful flavors. While it’s not light (or the all that pretty), it was rich and delicious.

This will definitely get made again. Although I’ll probably use low-fat ricotta and mozzarella next time, to make it a bit lighter – and on that note, I didn’t even bother with a calorie count, because to be honest I didn’t really want to know. Whenever I try the lighter version I’ll come back with those nutrition stats. Also, the hubs and I both loved it (It made plenty of leftovers too and was an amazing lunch!).

1 c ricotta
1/4 c plain greek yogurt
3-4 c fresh spinach
3-4 cloves garlic
1 Tbs lemon juice
3-4 large portabella mushroom caps, cleaned and dried
2 spicy Italian sausages, casing removed
½ sweet onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jar pasta sauce (we used a spicy sauce)
2 Tbs tomato paste
¼ c red wine
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Dash black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder
1 ½ c shredded mozzarella
¼ c bread crumbs

Add about ¼ c of water to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Toss in the fresh spinach, garlic cloves and lemon juice. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the moisture is gone. Use a fork to press any remaining water out of the cooked spinach.

Combine the cooked spinach, ricotta and yogurt in a food processor and pulse until completely combined.

In the same large sauté pan add 1-2 Tbs olive oil and place over medium heat. Cook the sausage, breaking it up with a fork. Add the onion and bell pepper and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes. Pour in the pasta sauce. Wisk together the tomato paste, red wine and vinegar and add to the sauce pan. Add spices and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 400ᵒ.

Spoon about ½ a cup of the tomato sauce mixture into the bottom of a large casserole pan (or sheet cake pan). Place the portabella caps, ribs up, in the pan. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the mushrooms, distributing evenly. Spread 1 c of the mozzarella over the mushrooms. Pour the tomato sauce over the stuffed mushrooms. Sprinkle the remaining ½ c of mozzarella and the bread crumbs over the top. Bake for 25 minutes.

Serve over pasta.

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