December 11, 2013

Classic Stuffed Shells

Be prepared, today we're going classic. And cheesy. Melty cheese, tomato sauce and a creamy triple cheese filling stuffed inside a cute pasta shell? It's the ultimate comfort food. Simple, delicious and satisfying.

This dish has all of the flavors of a classic lasagna, but even cuter. And maybe even easier.

The cheesy goodness and incredible aroma was so irresistible, the shells almost didn't make it through their photo shoot...

 Save to ZipListClassic Stuffed Shells
Author: Herbivore Haven
 Print RecipeServes: 5
  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (I used jarred traditional)
  • 15 oz skim milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for topping
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cups packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta shells in water with a splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt, per box instructions, to al dente. Rinse and strain. Set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the fresh spinach. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil heats up, add the minced garlic and cook until the garlic starts to brown. Add the fresh spinach to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally. Cook the spinach for about 3 minutes, or until the leaves are wilted, but still green. The spinach should greatly reduce in size. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, spinach, basil, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup of the spaghetti sauce into a shallow baking dish. (I used a 13 x 9 glass casserole dish). Spread the sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish. Stuff each cooked pasta shell with a heaping spoonful of the cheese mixture and place into the dish in a single layer. Spoon the remaining 1 cup of spaghetti sauce over the prepared shells.
  5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese over the shells. Enjoy!