I love to smother these delicious spinach stuffed shells with sauce and plenty of Mozzarella cheese. I then bake until bubbly! They are perfect for the feast day of Katherine Drexel and are Lenten friendly also.
Katharine Drexel was born into a family where the idea that wealth was simply loaned to them and was meant to be shared with everyone.
Upon a family trip to the west, as a young girl, Katharine saw first hand the plight of the American Indian. Those early images is what convinced her for the rest of her life to always strive to alleviate their condition. In the end, thanks to her personal and financial support there were several missions and schools named in her honor.
Later in her life, while visiting Pope Leo XIII, she required more missionaries to staff the Native American missions that she was supporting. To her surprise Pope Leo ask that she also become a missionary. That is exactly what she did. After speaking with Bishop James O’Connor, she dedicated herself to God. She used her inheritance to service the Indians and African-Americans.
From then on, she supported a very improvised lifestyle, only requiring the bare necessities. On February 12, 1891 she professed her first vows as a religious, founding the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. their dedication was to share the message of the gospel among the African-American and Indian population.
Katharine felt compassion for the African-Americans also. She wanted to change racial attitudes and change the substandard way of life. She wanted to educate them so they would not have to continue to do underpaid menial tasks. She wanted them to enjoy the same constitutional rights as ever one else.
While she was alive, she opened over 6o missions and schools. Her crowning achievement was the Xavier University of Louisiana. She founded the predominantly African-American catholic institution in the United States.
Katherine Drexel died on March 3, 1955.
She was beautified by Pope John Paul II on November 20, 1980.
Today I will be sharing with you Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells.
SPINACH AND CHEESE STUFFED SHELLS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 box frozen spinach
1 large onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg beaten
15-18 giant pasta shells
1 32 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. When hot saute onions and garlic with the spinach.
In a large bowl, add mozzarella, bread crumbs., parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture. Set aside.
Cook shells according to directions on package. Remove from water when almost tender. Put in a colander pour cold water over shells and drain well. Pour a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Stuff shells with spinach mixture.
Arrange shells in single layer in baking dish. Cover with rest of sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbly.
Peace be with you,