top of page

Just Stuff It!

We all enjoy comfort food in the winter, but sometimes we want our dishes to look, well, pretty. Maybe it’s a special event like a birthday or anniversary, and we have a few more mouths to feed and our time is limited. I have the answer! This dish can be made in advance, it’s attractive to serve and will feed 4-6 people. It even freezes well if you want to make a double batch. Even picky eaters seem to enjoy it, and you can sneak a green vegetable in like spinach, to make the filling more interesting. Any guesses? I’m talking about jumbo pasta shells stuffed with spinach, ricotta and pecorino cheese.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know I’m keen on putting up tomato sauce during our growing season on the farm. However, you can save time by using a good quality marinara sauce of your choice. Make sure to read your labels and make sure that it doesn’t have a lot of added sugar. You want savory not sweet sauce. If you want more heat, add a few red pepper flakes and/or minced garlic to your sauce, or maybe some fresh basil or parsley. There are many ways to amp these commercial sauces to suit your personal preferences. You can also fill each shell easily by putting your filling in a sandwich bag and snip a corner. That way you can simply pipe in the filling in each shell without making a mess of it.

STUFFED PASTA SHELLS WITH SPINACH AND RICOTTA

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 20-22 jumbo pasta shells

  2. Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  3. 1 16 ounce bag of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess moisture squeezed out

  4. 16 ounces whole milk ricotta

  5. 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for sprinkling

  6. 2 garlic cloves, grated

  7. 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  8. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  9. Lemon zest from 1/2 fresh lemon

  10. 1 egg

  11. 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for pasta water

  12. Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  13. 1 16 ounce (2 cups) jar marinara sauce

  14. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  15. Chopped parsley or basil, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the pasta shells for 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and drizzle a little olive oil to keep them from sticking together.

  3. Place the drained and squeezed spinach in a medium bowl. Combine with the ricotta, pecorino, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, egg, sea salt and several grinds of fresh black pepper. Spoon into a plastic sandwich bag (I put the bag in a quart canning jar to hold it upright). Cut the corner of the bag when ready to pipe filling into shells.

  4. Spread 3/4 (1 1/2 cups) of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pipe the filling into each shell and place in baking dish. Repeat until all your shells are filled. Spoon a little marinara sauce over each shell and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

  5. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil or parsley.

Serves 4-6

“Sometimes a little comfort food can go a long way.” –Benjamin Bratt
3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentários


bottom of page