RECIPE: STUFFED PASTA SHELLS

I have a confession to make. Up until I travelled to Italy, I thought Italian food was the most boring of all the foods in the world. Crazy, I know. Real authentic Italian food changed me, but I still rarely made it for myself at home. Lately, that has changed. 

When I first saw this recipe, I thought that there was no way I was ever going to make it. It seemed time consuming and I doubted that I would even like it that much. I could not have been more wrong. I make these delicious cheesy stuffed pasta shells pretty much every other week now. It’s a family favourite, even for the meat lovers of my family. I generally make two different types of stuffed shells for our dinner: one with a tomato based sauce, the other with a cream based sauce. You can use whatever kind of sauce you want and that’s what makes this recipe so awesome.

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STUFFED PASTA SHELLS

INGREDIENTS

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves, roughly-chopped
  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (650ml)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown. Add the spinach and cook until the leaves begin to wilt. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil and salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the pasta sauce into a 9×12 baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with a generous amount of the spinach and cheese mixture, and place in the dish.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top begins to brown and the sauce begins the bubble, another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Serve hot, with freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!

Original Recipe: http://www.forkknifeswoon.com/spinach-and-ricotta-stuffed-shells

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