April 21, 2014

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

To be honest, I had never had stuffed shells of any kind before I made these so I'm not sure how they compare to others, but they were a hit at our house.
I was surprised at how easy these were to put together and was rather impressed with the finished product.
I'm sure these will be put on our regular recipe rotation from now on when I'm not in the mood to make something new. 

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Adapted from: Cooking Classy
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
2-3 cups fresh spinach, chopped and cooked until just wilted
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic, finely minced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, finely shredded, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 cups marinara, spaghetti or pizza sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, using a fork, blend together Ricotta cheese and egg. Stir in basil, thyme and garlic. Add 1 cup mozzarella and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Toss mixture to combine. Mix in prepared spinach. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread 1/3 cup marinara sauce into an even layer along bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Stuff each cooked pasta shell with about 2 Tbsp. of cheese mixture. Align shells in baking dish side by side, with the opening of shells facing upright. (I did 5 rows of 4 shells each.)
4. Cover shells evenly with remaining marinara sauce then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
5. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm.                 

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