Ricotta and spinach stuffed shells

This is a classic, and somewhat close to what I remember eating as a kid, but probably with a bit more spinach. It’s fairly healthy, but also tasty and a good use of some homemade red sauce if you have some hanging out in the freezer.

Your ingredients
1 box of “large” shells
1 lb(ish) – whatever size a small container of ricotta is – ricotta(I’ve also heard that cottage cheese works fine and is way cheaper, but I’ve never tried it)
1 brick of chopped spinach
garlic powder
1 egg
Salt
Pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar of spaghetti (marinara type) sauce
Grated mozzarella

dried pasta shells

Ok – boil your shells. Keep them from sticking. You only want them to be pliable, but not fully cooked. Much harder than a traditional “al dente.” I put mine in a large bowl and drizzled with a little olive oil, then mixed around to help keep them from sticking as I worked on my other projects.

Now get your filling mixture done. I mixed a container of ricotta with a box of chopped spinach that’s been defrosted and squeezed out. I added some powdered/granulated garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper until it was tasty.
spinach ricotta shell filling

Then I added in an egg to help bind it a wee bit.
spinach ricotta shell filling

Then put some pasta sauce in the bottom of a pan. My filling mixture filled enough shells to fill two pie plates.
pan prepped for stuffed shells

Set up your assembly line
stuffed shell assembly line

Use a spoon to scoop the filling into your shells
spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shell

And place them seam side down into your dish.
spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells

Top with more sauce
spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells

Then with cheese.
spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells

Then bake at 350 for about half an hour. Keep covered with foil for 20 minutes if you want your shells not to dry out and get a little crispy on top. Leave uncovered if you like a crisp top part.
spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells

Enjoy.

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