Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
Delicious Savory Pasta shells filled with cheese and spinach, wonderful for dinner any night of the week. (this recipe also freezes well)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper
SHELLS AND STUFFING
- 1 (12 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & cooked
- 1 lb ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional) or 1 cup romano cheese (optional)
- 1 dash nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- For the sauce, using a large saucepan, cook the onion in the oil over low heat until it is soft, but not browned. Add the tomatoes, garlic, crushed pepper and salt and pepper to.
- taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
- For the shells, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Rub the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Cook the shells in boiling water, being careful not to tear shells while.
- stirring occasionally until tender (about 15 minutes).
- Drain and transfer to cold water.
- In a bowl, combine ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper, spinach and nutmeg. Spread half of tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish. After filling each shell with filling (use a.
- teaspoon), gently set them in the baking dish, cut sides up. Spread remaining sauce over all and sprinkle mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over top. Cover with foil and bake 40-50 minutes. Spoon 2 shells onto each plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 8.
i used reduced-fat ricotta and a jar of pre-made tomato sauce for this quick dinner. i also added 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, a tsp of dill and a tsp of onion powder to the filling. i wish i'd had some fresh basil to throw in, it would have been lovely, or rosemary in the sauce but i didn't think of it. my pkg of shells was only 8.8oz but it was more then enough. i layered sauce, stuffed shells, mozza, sauce, then parm. i think my shells must have been smaller then yours since two would certainly not be a meal-sized serving, they're only two or three bites each. they're easier to work with if you drizzle them with a little olive oil after rinsing in cool water. if you squeeze the ends they pop open for stuffing. baked at 350f, covered with foil, for 20 min, then uncovered for another 15. worked just fine since we're only trying to cook the eggs and melt the cheese. this could be easily adapted to different herb blends in the filling or different sauces. next time might try sauteed mushrooms inside and a pesto sauce or rosemary-red wine sauce with fresh parm in the filling. yum! going on my spring/summer rotation methinks