Do you love Italian Comfort Food? So do I! Growing up I never really enjoyed eating spinach, but if it was placed in something I would eat it up. This Fresh Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells is so delicious that you hardly notice the spinach. This dish could probably serve more people (at least six moderate eaters), but there are no boundaries when pasta shells appear at the table. It is comfort food extravaganza. Simply put, we easily clean up the whole pan. It just tastes “like more”.
Now fast forward 30 years….. and I am not feeding my family a whole lot of spinach I especially like incorporating it into recipes for a healthy boost. In fact, if you haven’t had a chance to try my Healthy Hidden Veggie Whoopie Pies it is a MUST. And my kids haven’t gotten the slightest clue they are eating healthy veggies.
Fresh Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells Recipe
Don’t forget to serve with garlic bread and a fresh salad for a complete meal.
- 16 jumbo pasta shells + a few extra shells to allow for breakage while pasta is cooking
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 4 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves roughly chopped
- 12 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cooke the pasta al dente, according to directions on packaging. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown (less than 2minutes). Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves begin to wilt but still bright green in color. The spinach should be reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg and salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Pour ½ cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a shallow 9x9 baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell generously with spinach and ricotta mixture, and place in baking dish.
- Cover with 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 to bubble, another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
- Note: This dish can be made a day in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to cook – use same temperature, but add 10-15 additional minutes to cooking time.