Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stuffed Pasta Shells

I had lots of spinach so was wondering what to do with it. And so one meal I made with it was stuffed pasta shells.

1 lb fresh spinach cooked, drained and squeezed or a 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups ricotta - I used low-fat skim-milk ricotta
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 pound mozzarella, finely chopped or shredded
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried, crumbled
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

3 to 4 cups tomato sauce or marina sauce - I made a homemade tomato sauce and then added browned ground spicy Italian sausage to it. I covered the bottom of pan with just tomato sauce first though before adding meat.
1 box cooked jumbo pasta shells (about 32 to 36 shells)

If using frozen spinach, thaw and squeeze to get as much water out as you can. If using fresh, cook, covered, for 2-3 minutes in 1/4 cup boiling water; drain and squeeze to get as much water out as you can.

Transfer spinach to large bowl. Add ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, basil and garlic to bowl. Season mixture with salt and pepper; blend.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spoon 1/2 cup tomato sauce evenly over bottom of 9"x13" baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with spinach mixture. Place shells - filling side up in pan. Spoon remaining sauce over shells. I usually sprinkle with some more Parmesan cheese but forgot this time. Cover loosely with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Serve.

You can also freeze this after you spoon remaining sauce over shells. It freezes for up to 4 months. And you can take straight from the freezer to the oven just cooking it for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Top photo ready to serve and second photo shells in pan before spooning remaining sauce over them. This recipe makes so is good for a big family or to freeze for later.

I found this youtube video so you can see the process a bit better. But her recipe is slightly different then mine.

1 comment:

  1. I use the same stuffing ingredients with manicotti shells, only instead of a tomato sauce I use an alfredo sauce. It's incredibly fattening but oh so good. :-)



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