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Stuffed Shells with Ricotta and Spinach

Recipe for Stuffed Shells with spinach, ricotta, Pecorino Romano, and mozzarella cheese topped with a hearty meat sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 648kcal
Author James

Ingredients

For the Stuffed Shells

For the ricotta mixture

  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta
  • 1 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese shredded and divided
  • ½ cup parsley minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach blanched, water squeezed out, chopped
  • ½ cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • 2 large eggs beaten

Instructions

  • Cook shells until very al dente in salted (2 tablespoons kosher salt per gallon) water. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
  • Strain shells and place on clean kitchen towels. Allow shells to cool before stuffing.
  • Preheat oven to 400f. While the shells are cooling blanch the baby spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds. Place the spinach in a fine mesh strainer and squeeze out as much water as possible. Give the spinach a chop and move onto the next step.
  • Combine the ricotta, half the grated mozzarella, parsley, baby spinach, and Pecorino Romano cheese. Taste test the ricotta mixture and if desired add a bit of salt. When satisfied with the taste add the 2 beaten eggs and combine.
  • Lay a half-inch thick layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of a large baking dish.
  • To fill the shells use either a spoon or use a pastry or plastic bag filled with the ricotta mixture. Either pipe or spoon the filling into each shell. Place the filled shells into the baking dish seam side up.
  • Top the shells with more of the meat sauce but do not cover completely. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with a piece of parchment paper then aluminum foil. Bake the shells for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the covering and bake for 15 minutes more until bubbly and crispy. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • For a lighter meatless version use this marinara sauce.
  • You might need two baking trays to fit all the shells.
  • The 3 kinds of cheese, especially the Pecorino Romano are salty.  Therefore the ricotta mixture might not need any extra salt.  Make sure to taste test the mixture before adding the egg and if required add salt to taste.
  • Boil the shells until very al dente.  They will be cooked for 45 minutes longer and will become too soft if cooked all the way prior to baking.
  • Serve any extra sauce on the side.
  • The stuffed shells can be frozen (works well to freeze them in a foil baking tray)and reheated at 350-400f until hot all the way through.

Nutrition

Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 40.2g | Fat: 35.1g | Saturated Fat: 19.8g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 937mg | Potassium: 417mg | Fiber: 1.9g | Sugar: 3.8g | Calcium: 670mg | Iron: 5mg