Recipes Spinach And Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shell: A Delightful Italian Treat

Introduction:

Spinach and ricotta stuffed shells are a classic Italian dish that combines the flavors of fresh spinach, creamy ricotta, and savory cheese. This hearty and comforting dish is perfect for a family meal or a special occasion. With its vibrant green filling and tender pasta shell, it’s a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.

Ingredients:

For the Pasta Shell:

  • 1 pound jumbo pasta shells
  • Salt, for boiling

For the Spinach and Ricotta filling:

  • 1 pound fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated nutmeg

For the Sauce:

  • 1 jar (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preparing the Pasta Shell:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the pasta shells and cook according to the package directions, or until al dente (firm to the bite).
  3. Drain the pasta shells and set aside.

Making the Spinach and Ricotta filling:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  2. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well combined.

Assembling the Stuffed Shell:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Using a small spoon, fill each pasta shell with the spinach and ricotta filling.
  4. Arrange the stuffed shells in the baking dish.
  5. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the stuffed shells.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.

Cooking the Stuffed Shell:

  1. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the shells are heated through.
  2. Let the stuffed shells cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve the spinach and ricotta stuffed shells with a side of crusty bread or a fresh green salad. For a more indulgent meal, pair it with a glass of your favorite Italian wine.

Variations:

  • Vegetarian: Omit the mozzarella cheese for a vegetarian version.
  • Meat Lovers: Add 1/2 pound of cooked ground beef or sausage to the spinach and ricotta filling.
  • Spicy: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the spinach and ricotta filling for a spicy kick.
  • Creamy: Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the spinach and ricotta filling for a richer flavor.

Tips:

  • For the best flavor, use fresh spinach.
  • If you don’t have jumbo pasta shells, you can use regular-sized shells and cut them in half.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta shells, as they will become mushy.
  • Let the stuffed shells cool for a few minutes before serving to prevent the cheese from spilling out.
  • Serve the stuffed shells immediately for the best texture and flavor.

Conclusion:

Spinach and ricotta stuffed shells are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. With its fresh ingredients, creamy filling, and savory sauce, it’s a true culinary delight. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a comforting meal, this classic Italian dish is sure to impress. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and prepare to indulge in the flavors of spinach and ricotta stuffed shells.

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