Shells Baked With Spinach, Herbs, and Walnuts

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins

Herb garden gone wild

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Combine the onions, bay leaves, garlic, butter, olive oil, and salt in a small saucepan.
  2. Saute over med-low heat until the onions and garlic are very soft and completely cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the cream and scald—heat just until little bubbles form around the outside edge; set aside off the heat for 30 minutes to steep.
  4. Bring a big pot of water to a boil for the pasta; heat oven to 500°.
  5. In another saucepan, add the spinach and arugula to boiling salted water; cook, stirring often, until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes; drain in a colander.
  6. When the greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much water as possible.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop.
  8. Combine the chopped greens, sage, basil, marjoram, summer savory, and chives in a large bowl.
  9. Add in walnuts, the cheeses, and a good scraping of nutmeg.
  10. Remove and discard the bay leaves and add the cooled cream and sour cream to the mixing bowl; stir to combine.
  11. Taste and add salt, if needed; set aside.
  12. Generously salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta; cook, stirring often, to parboil, 4-5 minutes (the pasta will be too hard to eat; it will continue to cook in the oven).
  13. Drain the shells, reserving about 1 cup of the water.
  14. Toss the pasta with the ingredients in the bowl until well combined; you want the shells to capture some of the walnuts, herbs, and cheese in their crannies.
  15. Add ½ cup reserved pasta water and toss again.
  16. Transfer to individual shallow baking dishes or a large shallow gratin dish.
  17. There should be ample liquid surrounding the pasta.
  18. If not, nap with additional pasta water.
  19. Bake until bubbly and hot, with some of the pasta shells browning on top; serve immediately (no cooking time was given in this last step, so you will have to use your judgment).

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