Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

About This Recipe:

Cheese + carbs are a magical combination, and stuffed pasta shells are the perfect vehicle for combining the two. I definitely take a shortcut by using pre-made tomato sauce for this recipe, but there’s so much other goodness going on that I think it’s perfectly fine. This is a fun recipe to make with other people, and the hardest part is really cooking the pasta. I do use part skim ricotta and mozzarella cheese in my stuffed shells, but I really don’t think that you can tell and it just makes me feel better.

Enjoy!

Ingredients (6 servings)
-12 oz jumbo pasta shells (about 35 shells)
-3 cups tomato sauce
-1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-Olive oil
-Salt and pepper

Filling
-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
-5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
-2 cups (16 oz) skim ricotta cheese
-1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
-1 egg

Instructions (1 hour) 

1. In a pot over medium heat, add in a tbl of olive oil and cook the garlic for one minute. Then add in the chopped spinach and cook until it has wilted (about 3-5 minutes.) Set aside and cool (I put it in the freezer for 5 minutes) before mixing the filling.
2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta shells until they are al dente. Drain and set aside to cool before stuffing with the filling.
3. In a large bowl, mix the spinach with the rest of the filling ingredients.
4. Pour the tomato sauce into a large baking dish and spread out evenly. Take a pasta shell and stuff about 2-3 tbls of the filling into each shell. Place into the baking dish and continue until all the shells have been filled.
5. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil.




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