Today was a good day! After a three day weekend, we had a two hour delay this morning due to freezing rain so I had another morning to sleep in a little bit. The day flew by since we only had 30 minute classes and before I knew it, I was home making these yummy stuffed shells. After making these tonight for the first time, my first question was why haven't I made these sooner?! Stuffing shells sounded so difficult and time consuming to me, but it was actually very easy. A little more complicated than boiling some pasta and adding sauce, but definitely worth the extra 10 minutes or so. I found a few different recipes and adapted them to my tastes. I forgot to get spinach at the grocery store so I didn't include that in the mix, but I will definitely add it next time. This pan made enough shells for TC and I tonight for dinner and we are both looking forward to eating the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Serve with some salad and crusty bread for a delicious meal that the whole family will love!
20 jumbo pasta shells (about half a box)
2 cups red pasta sauce (from a jar or homemade)
1 cup ricotta cheese (I used skim)
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chopped fresh basil
6 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained and squeezed until very dry (optional)
(chopped fresh spinach would work too)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese for topping (you could top with parmesan as well)
Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine.
In a 9x13 dish, spread half of the red pasta sauce on the bottom. Stuff each shell with about 2 Tablespoons of filling. Place the stuffed shells in the dish with the open side facing up. Top the shells with the remaining pasta sauce.
Feel free to use less sauce if that's what you prefer.
Cover with foil and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. In the last ten minutes of baking, take off the foil and sprinkle the top with more mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.