I ate stuffed shells frequently during college, so this is comfort food for me. I lived with my sister for a few years while at UCF, and she used to make stuffed shells in double batches so we could feast on them for days. This is simple, inexpensive, healthy, and the recipe scales up easily. I highly recommend making a double batch and eating this as both a second dinner as well as a lunch during the week.
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 9 ounces fresh spinach (recommend against frozen spinach)
- 3 clove garlic minced (or grated on microplane)
- 3 cups canned chopped tomatoes =
- 1 cup Whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 14 each Jumbo Pasta Shells
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 each egg
- 1 medium onion diced
- fresh basil chopped (OPTIONAL INGREDIENT)
- In a large pot, bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water (should taste like seawater)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour the chopped tomatoes into a 9×9 baking dish, and place in the preheating oven to warm up (this will allow the final dish to heat faster)
- Add shells to the boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 9 minutes; drain. Run under cold water to stop the cooking; drain again.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. season with salt and pepper.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant about 15-30 seconds. Add spinach, cover, and cook until beginning to wilt, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is completely wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about another 4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer spinach mixture to a large bowl.
- To the bowl of wilted spinach, add ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and egg. mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stuff shells with the spinach and cheese mixture. The shell should be filled to capacity but not overstuffed.
- Nestle stuffed shells into the baking dish with heated tomatoes. As you add the shells, spoon some of the hot tomatoes over the top.
- Bake, uncovered, about 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through.
- Serve, with basil and extra Parmesan cheese (if desired)