If you have some yummy spaghetti sauce on hand and want to make something different than plain ol’ spaghetti, this is a winning recipe! It’s not overly difficult to make (aside from stuffing those pesky shells) and makes a really nice meal that has all your veggies in it!
I pretty much used my recipe for my Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups, but just changed some of the cheese amounts. I feel pretty proud of this recipe, as all the online versions I found for it made anywhere from 24 to 30 shells — way more than I wanted! I went with my gut feeling, and figured 16 shells would do the trick with the amount of stuffing I use for my roll-ups. I was SPOT ON! Woo hoo! I served this with green salad and baked garlic bread. We ate half one night, then finished the other half the next, but you can freeze the leftovers if you want.
Italian Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese
16 uncooked Jumbo shell pasta
3 cups Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce, or other prepared sauce
1 15-ounce container Ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella (I used a block of low-fat and shredded it with a grater)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, beaten
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Additional shredded Mozzarella, for topping
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the noodles to al dente according to package directions. While the noodles are cooking, combine the Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, spinach, egg, pepper, salt or Mrs. Dash, and a pinch of nutmeg in a medium bowl.
When the noodles are done, drain the noodles, let cool a bit, then lay them on parchment or wax paper in a single layer.
Spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish. Stuff 1/4 cup or so of the cheese and spinach mixture into each pasta shell and place into the dish.
Pour 2 cups of spaghetti sauce over the stuffed shells. Grate additional mozzarella cheese over the top of the shells, then cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and turn on the broiler. Broil for about 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green side salad and garlic bread. You can freeze the remaining shells in Ziploc bags for a quick and easy future meal. My family loved this so much we ate the rest of it up the next day!
p.s. (Please let me indulge you with photos of my daughter’s rose she got at her dance team’s end-of-year potluck celebration! That was a long journey to get through dance season with the football and basketball schedules!)