Pasta Shells stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta might get your kids to eat their green veggies
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
Say your kids don't like spinach? They might if you dressed it up for the holidays.
Switch out whole grain pasta shells for the egg, to lend heft and fiber, if desired. I always cook extra pasta shells; so many seem to fall apart in the cooking process. And undercook them slightly as they will continue baking. Thinly sliced ham or proscuitto would be wonderful mixed into the ricotta stuffing.
Yield: 14 shells
Active Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
14 jumbo pasta shells (cook more as some will tear when boiled)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
3/4 (packed) cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
5 ounces baby spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
1 pinch nutmeg, optional
Cooking oil spray
1 cup your favorite bottled or freshly made pasta sauce
1/2 (packed) cup grated mozzarella
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta shells according to package instructions.
3. Beat egg and stir in garlic, ricotta, basil, parmesan, prepared spinach and nutmeg, if desired. Combine well and season with several grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
4. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons filling into each pasta shell.
5. Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce over bottom of a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in prepared dish; spoon a bit of pasta sauce over each shell. Top with mozzarella. Lightly tent with foil (if it is touching the cheese, spray foil with cooking oil spray) and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
6. Remove foil and continue baking an additional 7 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.