Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cheesy Stuffed Shells

I love stuffed shells but not a big fan of ricotta cheese, but paired with a magnificent concoction of fresh herbs, garlic and parmesan cheese, makes this dish delightfully tasti & easy to make. My daughter Arianna is such a good helper in the kitchen, she even volunteered to stuff them.

Just toast up a batch of garlic bread and enjoy..

16 jumbo pasta shells
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1-3/4 cups spaghetti sauce
Shredded mozzarella (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, gently place pasta shells in boiling water; bring water back to boil. Cook until noodles are just tender; drain well.
Squeeze spinach dry. Combine spinach, ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Fill each pasta shell with the spinach cheese mixture. Arrange the shells, filling side up in the baking dish. Spoon remaining spaghetti sauce over the shells. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of the shells.

Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven until heated through; about 30 minutes.

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