Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells are easy, cheesy, and delicious. Giant pasta shells are filled with a creamy spinach and ricotta mixture then baked with plenty of tomato sauce.
Total Time:1 hour 15 minutes
Yield:6 servings 1x
250grams large pasta shells
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
700grams tomato passata or tomato sauce
500grams frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
250grams ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
50grams grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F) and put a large pot of water on to boil. Also, get out the casserole or baking dish you'll use later, and spray it with some non-stick spray if you have it to make clean up a little easier.
Once your water is boiling, add salt and cook your pasta for about five minutes. It will continue to soften up in the oven.You want your shells to be just cooked but still firm. Drain and let them cool a bit so you can handle them without burning yourself.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then cook the garlic and onions for about 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the passata or tomato sauce. Refill the bottle or can about halfway, making sure to pick up any residual sauce, then add that to the pan as well. Bring the sauce up to a bubble, then lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. I like to pop a lid on just to stop it from splattering.
While everything else is cooking on the stove, add your drained spinach, ricotta cheese, beaten egg, and most of your Parmesan cheese to a mixing bowl. Keep a little Parmesan for sprinkling over the top. Also add in a pinch of nutmeg and some salt and pepper. Mix this all up until thoroughly combined.
Once all your components are ready, you can start assembling. I use just a regular spoon like you'd use to eat your morning cereal. Get a heaped spoonful of your ricotta mixture, and scoop some into each pasta shell. This is going to be messy. Just embrace it. Keep stuffing until you've run out of either filling or pasta. If you're very lucky, they'll match up perfectly, but don't sweat it if they don't. Add each filled pasta shell to a casserole dish. You want them to fit fairly snugy.
Carefully pour your tomato sauce over your stuffed shells and sprinkle on your remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes or unti the pasta sauce is bubbling and your shells are cooked through. To check the pasta, slide a sharp knife into one of your shells. It should slide through easily. Allow this to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.