Spinach Stuffed Shells

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I know what you're thinking - why am I posting a baked pasta recipe when we're a few days away from the start of summer?

The answer is easy! You've never had pasta until you've had it with fresh marinara sauce and fresh basil from your garden.

Add to that the quick cooking nature of this recipe, and you've got a winner!


Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spinach Stuffed Shells


32 jumbo pasta shells
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh spinach leaves, roughly-chopped
32 oz ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese,
1 large egg
1 Tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups marinara sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain and place cooked shells in a single layer on cookie sheets to cool. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about a minute or two. 
  3. Add the chopped spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves begin to wilt but are still bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. The spinach should be reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined. Pour 1/2 of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. 
  5. Stuff cooled pasta shells with a generous amount of the spinach and ricotta mixture and place them in the baking dish.
  6. Cover with the remaining sauce and bake covered with aluminum foil 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. 
  7. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella and cover again with aluminum foil. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. (Mozzarella will melt during this 10 minutes.) Serve warm.

Tips:

  • Cook a couple of extra shells in case a few break while they cook.
  • If you would like to use jarred marinara sauce, a 26 oz. jar will work.
  • If you're growing basil in your garden and need to know how to preserve it for fall and winter cooking, make sure to read about how to dry fresh herbs.

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