I think the last time I had stuffed shells was from the cafeteria at my junior high. Apparently they were so bad that I never ate them again! Then randomly I saw not one, but two pictures around the internet of stuffed shells. It felt like The Universe was telling me to make some stuffed shells. So I did. I kind of played off both the recipes I saw, one which was vegan on Love and Lemons (a new site to me, which has GORGEOUS photography) and one that contained meat on Shutterbean. Our family eats somewhere in the middle–yes to dairy, no to meat (well Rabi anyway).
I ended up making these three times in as many weeks. Though it’s a little tedious to fill all the shells, it’s pretty mindless. They also got eaten so fast that by the time I got to the last batch, I learned my lesson and made a lot of filling, which ended up being enough for a large tray and a small tray of shells. Besides lasting for multiple meals, Rishi actually eat this too! Amazing! So glad I exorcised my stuffed shells demons–hopefully you don’t have any in your closet.
Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
my own recipe
32-36 jumbo pasta shells, plus some extras for
32 oz ricotta (I used part skim, but any type is fine)
3 cups baby spinach
4 oz baby portobello mushrooms
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided (quantity depends on how cheesy you want it)
1/2 cup shredded pecorino romano
1 jar pasta sauce (or make your own)
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shells to the water and cook until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Once they are done, drain and set aside. I will often splash a little olive oil on the shells so that they don’t stick together.
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
While the pasta is cooking, make the filling. Add the ricotta to medium sized bowl. Chop the baby spinach and finely dice the mushrooms, then add them to the bowl. Mix together the ricotta, baby spinach and mushrooms. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the mozzarella and the pecorino romano to the bowl and mix until combined. Finally crack the two eggs into a smaller bowl and lightly beat them. Add them to the ricotta mixture and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Assemble your dish next. Put a little tomato sauce in the bottom of your casserole dish and spread it around so it covers the bottom (I ended up needing a large 2 quart dish and a smaller dish). Take a shell, spoon some of the filling into it, then place it in the casserole dish. Keep repeating until you run out of shells or filling (I ran out of filling first). Once all your shells are in the casserole dish(es), cover the top with sauce. I didn’t measure the amount, but add as much as you want–I used probably 3/4 of the jar total. Sprinkle the rest of your mozzarella on top and a little pecorino too if you’d like.
Bake until the cheese on top melted and the sauce is bubbling–around 20 minutes. Allow to cool a bit and then dig in!