Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Published March 27, 2013. Comments

Notes

I love to make this because it's so fun to make, stuffing the shells and covering them with the delicious homemade marinara sauce I make and...get this...homemade ricotta cheese...that it makes this super simple dish so special enough for any day of the week. 

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Ingredients

1 box (about 24 shells) jumbo shells

1 pound fresh ricotta

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cups baby spinach, chopped

1 egg

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, coarse ground

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1 quart fresh marinara sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella

Optional for non-vegetarians:

1 lb ground beef or turkey, fat drained, then sautéed with ½ cup minced onion, 3 cloves minced garlic…cooled and set aside

Directions

  1. Cook  the shells in salted boiling water according to package directions. I cooked mine to 12 minutes exactly. Drain and rinse with cold water. Separate the shells from  if they have nestled into each other and let cool.
  2. Heat your oven to 350° F.
  3. If you are adding the meat mixture, cook the meat with the onions and garlic, then cool.
  4. Mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together until well combined. Add the spinach and stir thoroughly so the spinach is even distributed.
  5. If you are using the meat mixture, add it to the cheese and spinach and fold in to combine well.
  6. In an 9x9 baking dish, spread about 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom. Set aside.
  7. Using a dinner spoon, stuff a spoonful of the cheese mixture into each shell and then laying it into the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining shells.
  8. Cover the shells with the remaining marinara sauce. Cover the marinara sauce with the shredded mozzarella.
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbly.