Winning 'Ninja Turtles' from the Sewells

Carla Core Brown

Steve Sewell and his wife, Vickie Tolson Sewell, have always wanted to keep their family involved in community activities. Although the Sewells now have their residence in Pawhuska, the couple proudly raised their children in Kansas. It was there a broad-based recreational department existed. Among the activities offered was cooking. This recipe is a nod to their children’s youth.

When their eldest daughter was around seven or eight years of age, she determined she would learn to cook a quick and easy meal. The search through various cookbooks began and the following recipe was decided upon. Steve shared that not only did the recipe turn out to be quick and easy, but the added bonus was the kids liked to make it! Many will recognize it as simply stuffed shells but because the cartoon was very popular at the time, the Sewell family deemed it, “Ninja Turtles.” An added plus for this family favorite, all four of the Sewell children won first place with this dish.

Steve said this recipe can be easily frozen and kept for future use. (By the way, his Wednesday night CHOIR GROUP gives Ninja Turtles a big thumbs up!) **Please note…Steve says the antidote is sold separately. Tee hee.

Sewell Family’s Winning Ninja Turtles

1 pound large pasta shells

1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out

1/2 pound Italian sausage (or any you prefer)

1/2 pound cottage cheese, small curd, drained

3 garlic cloves, crushed or pressed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup grated cheese (Parmesan or Romano)

1/2 teaspoon Oregano

Salt and black pepper, freshly round, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

1 egg, beaten

2 cups tomato spaghetti sauce (Prego Traditional)

2 cups coarsely grated Swiss or Mozzarella cheese

Boil pasta until firm but tender. Rinse in cold water and drain. Saute the sausage and break up into small pieces. Mix with drained spinach, drained cottage cheese, garlic, lemon juice, grated cheese, salt, pepper, and oregano. Stir in the beaten egg.

Stuff the shells with the above mixture and place in a greased baking dish. Top with sauce and, finally, the cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until all is hot and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

Wine: Chianti or Zinfandel

Now, how’s that for a little LOCAL FLAVOR??!!