Thursday, November 3, 2011

Simple Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Pasta dishes are my favorite easy meals.

Simple Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Throw something together in a baking dish and smother it in cheese.

Simple Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Let it bake and bubble in the oven.

Simple Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Then devour it.

Simple Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I got 4 servings out of this dish (6 shells each--I dropped one on the floor while draining it... sad). It looks like a lot of spinach, but it's a good amount and not at all overpowering. The ricotta balances it out. There's no other cheese mixed in with the spinach and ricotta, but it's still yummy. I'm kinda obsessed with stuffed shells now. A taco version sounds yummy. Or maybe even chicken salad for a cold dish. Weekend project!

Simple Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells [Makes 4 to 6 servings]
From Spoon Fork Bacon

25 jumbo pasta shells
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup store bought marinara sauce
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated

2 cups frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped
2 cups part-skim ricotta
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp thyme, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, as well as a generous amount of salt, and stir. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 15 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with olive oil. Set aside.

Pour the marinara sauce into a 8”x 8” baking dish and move around to form an even coat.

In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, egg, shallot, and thyme and stir together well. Season together with salt and pepper.

Using a spoon, scoop a small amount of the filling and stuff into a pasta shell. Nestle the stuffed shell into the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining shells until the baking dish is filled. Top the baking dish with a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the Parmesan begins to bubble and lightly brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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