Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spring has officially hit Washington. The sun is shining, and just like the new flowers popping up things in my life keep on popping up alongside them. Of course, this means all I want are meals that are comforting after a day on the run without many breaks, refrigerates well if I don’t have the energy to actually make food, and of course most of all has some green in it so I don’t feel like a 2 year old once again. This dish, which I made with my boyfriend a long time back has become a fall back recipe. So much so that I don’t even know where any of my own pictures are of it. Above is a picture of a similar recipe, if you follow this recipe to a T they may come out a bit greener and will smell of garlic.

Tools needed:

  • Baking dish – 8 x 8 inches minimum
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Mixing bowl (medium – large)
  • Foil
  • Pan + lid

Ingredients:

  • 12 jumbo pasta shells
  • 10 oz frozen spinach (I use 16 oz, but I really like spinach)
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper (only if you like it)
  • 20-26 oz of tomato sauce (use more or less depending on your preference)
  • 1 cup whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 cloves of garlic

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Cook 12 – 15 jumbo pasta shells according to package directions. Make sure that they don’t have cracks, cook extra in case they break during the cooking process.
  3. While shells are cooking fine mince the garlic, microwave frozen spinach until it is warmed. May need to break the spinach up with a fork.
  4. Once garlic and spinach are pressed, toss both into a pan and cook until the spinach is fully cooked through. Once it is cooked drain excess liquid.
  5. In a mixing bowl combine ricotta, parmesan, spices, and egg. Once these are well combined add in the drained spinach and garlic. If you don’t use all of the stuffing or are still waiting for the shells, put it in the refrigerator for later use.
  6. Drain your pasta and put aside.
  7. Take a rectangular baking dish (I use an 8 x 8 inch one) and add half of your tomato sauce to the bottom of the baking dish. Fill the shells with the combined mixture. If your dish has room for the extra shells that didn’t break feel free to stuff them into the baking dish too!
  8. Top shells with left over sauce and mozzarella cheese before placing foil over the baking dish.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and shells are heated through.
  10. Enjoy while warm!