Football Confessions: Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Spicy Chorizo

I’m all-systems-go for Sunday’s big game. Are you?

In all honesty football isn’t that high a sports priority for me. It falls well after basketball, hockey, and soccer and likely ties baseball for fourth place. I know, I’m un-American to rank both baseball and football so poorly, but I blame it on an overload of sports spectating (is that even a term?) when I was young. No, I’m not in need of a therapy session, but I do fully blame my father for this one.


You either grow up in a sports family or you don’t and, the Mollenkamps? We’re a big sports family. Not only did we grow up playing a ton of sports but we also watched a lot. You see the 80s were a prime sports period in Los Angeles and my Dad took full advantage.

That meant we had season tickets to not one, not two, but six sports. We spent nearly every waking moment attending one of the following teams’ games: Dodgers, Raiders, Rams, Lakers, Kings, and even the now-defunct indoor soccer team known as The Lazers. And you know what? That can reek some havoc on a kid’s psyche. There is such a thing as too many live sports — I speak from firsthand experience.

The irony is that, rather than write off the Super Bowl altogether, my overexposure means I get into the game even if I have no idea who’s playing or how their seasons went. I’m the most dangerous type of football fan of all because I’m as fair-weather as they come yet as passionate as can be. So, each year on that fated afternoon, I channel my father and I doggedly watch, heckle, yell, and even pound my fist out of frustration a coupla times — even if I have no real interest in the outcome.


Anger management issues aside, I customarily whip up a few dishes and this year, it’s a twist on the classic ricotta-and-spinach-stuffed shells. That pasta dish was in regular rotation growing up and it was quite possibly my favorite comfort food of all. For game day, I upped the ante and threw in some chorizo for a bit more heft and a smoky note. I knew I was on to something when my father and two brothers devoured a plate of it in five minutes flat. That simple addition of the chorizo makes for a winner. So, no matter who wins on Sunday, I’m certain that there will be no arguments about this recipe. Thats is, of course, unless we run out — then all bets are off.

Other Super Bowl-Worthy Recipes:
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Mushroom Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps
Mediterranean Lamb Burgers
Thai-Style Lettuce Wraps
Sizzling Chicken Filipino Sisig Tacos
Spicy Thai-Style Steak
White Bean and Chicken Spicy Poblano Chili
Black Bean, Chorizo, and Pickled Onion Tlayudas