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Pasta Shells Filled with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese
"Any vegetarian pasta dish is good enough for me any time, any day, but this ricotta and spinach one, to me and my whole family, is comfort food at its very best! Getting back to this beautiful savoury filled pasta shells, the outcome is magnificent indeed and truly yummy, it’s pretty similar to a cannelloni one or even a vegetarian lasagna. I’m not sure how you feel but for me a good pasta dish is signed by the pasta used. The pasta that I’m using, the shape of it it’s what really does it for me. I’m strange I know, I was told this many times ?? so I know it – ha ha The ricotta cheese and the spinach combination is another one of those combos to really enjoy to the max."
NotesWhile pasta boils, prepare one big bowl/pot with cold water 1-2l so that the pasta can be placed in there as soon as it's finished with the boiling. Drain and quickly put it in the super cold water. It stops the pasta from cooking any further and prevents it from sticking. I was saying that this recipe serves 4 people, yes indeed, 4 very hungry ones ? or 6 as a second dish that would be followed by a dessert. Although if any left over I have to say it is yummy in anyone's tummy the next day too. ?
Preparation Time15 min
Cooking Time40 min
- 1 pack pasta shells
- 300 g ricotta cheese
- 200 g spinach (fresh)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly ground)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
- 270 g cheese (mixed, grated; cheddar and mozzarella)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 400 g tomato sauce (passata) *
- 1 tsp italian herbs
- 3-4 tbsp Parmesan cheese (to sprinkle when serving)
Cook the pasta for about 5 min until the shells are becoming bigger and easy to fill. I would recommend to cook them half way so if the pack says 10 min you cook them for 4-5 min. Keep an eye on those so they are not overly cooked. (See recipe notes for some tips)
Wash the spinach and cook for 2 minutes in a frying pan with a sprinkle of water or milk if you want, a pinch of salt, one of pepper and some freshly ground nutmeg. When finish turn heat off and set aside to cool.
In a separate bowl mix the ricotta cheese with 3/4 (180g) of the grated cheese, another pinch of nutmeg and add the spinach. Mix well.
Preheat oven at 180 C.
Prepare the baking dish (20cm x 30cm) and start filling the shells with roughly about a tbsp of cheese and spinach mixture until you have finished all shells and the cheese.
Pour over (evenly) the tomato sauce and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 C.
Half way through, take the dish out and sprinkle the remaining (90g) of the grated cheese. Place back in the oven and bake till nice and golden brown.
When finish baking take out of the oven and serve with a light sprinkle of Parmesan on top. Enjoy!! It is..... Delicious ?!!
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