Pasta shells are a fun option on pasta night, and a clever way to sneak in those good-for-you veggies in case you have an eagle-eyed eater. Stuff the shells with a cheese-spinach mixture, cover with spaghetti sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbly.
24 jumbo pasta shells
1 15-oz. container ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta shells according to package label directions; drain and set aside to cool. While pasta cooks, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and nutmeg.
Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells with cheese-and-spinach mixture and place in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.
Great recipe...will be making it again! I made a double batch of the cheese filling so I could use up all of the shells. I froze half for another night, and they came out great. For the second batch, I left the mozzarella cheese off the top. To me, the recipe is already so cheesy it just wasn't needed.
Really good! Even my meat-loving husband had to admit he likes it. We make it on a regular basis now. Have sometimes had to substitute the ricotta for 'quark' since not all stores in Germany have ricotta, but it still works and is delicious!
I stocked my freezer with these shells and really enjoyed them for dinner later on! For step-by-step photos, visit: http://www.icancookthat.org/2015/10/freezer-friendly-spinach-and-ricotta-stuffed-shells.html
MUCH better with fresh spinach. I sauté the spinach first in a little bit of olive oil to wilt it before adding it to the cheese mixture. My youngest is a super-picky eater and he gobbles this up. We've also served it to company and when I've taken meals to friends. Everyone loves it!
If you're short on time, I'll cook up some penne or rigatoni pasta, add it to the spinach/cheese mixture and then dump it all in the pan and follow the rest of the directions as is. So much easier than stuffing shells!
Made this with fresh spinach for dinner last night. Husband ate 3 big helpings and couldn't stop raving about it. I thought it was good, but not fall-down-dead delicious. Still, it is good to eat meatless sometimes, and this fit the bill.