Lenten Recipe: Ricotta And Spinach Stuffed Shells
Published: February 28, 2013
Margaret Betz of Good Samaritan Church, Ellijay, shared this recipe for vegetarian stuffed shells. She said, “This recipe is a favorite at our house—it makes a beautiful, aromatic and delicious meal for meatless Fridays, for Lent, and even for company any time! I always make a big batch (by increasing the amount of filling and sauce). The shells freeze beautifully, so I can be ready for company or for giving to a friend in need.”
Georgia Bulletin test chefs Amber Huynh, Tina Levitt and Mary Anne Castranio said this recipe was gobbled right up by family and friends when they made these stuffed shells recently. The recipe was simple to make—and the sauce was quite delicious! Added Levitt, “We sprinkled the parmesan on top before we baked it, so it was melted.”
1 12-oz. package of jumbo pasta shells (approximately 48 shells)
2 10-oz. boxes of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
15 oz. part skim ricotta
8 oz. part skim mozzarella, grated
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz. can of diced or whole tomatoes (crush the latter)
1 10-oz. can of tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. basil leaves
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. Splenda or sugar (optional)
3 tbsp. wine (optional)
Fresh basil, torn
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Cook pasta shells as directed on package. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. (It’s a good idea to have an extra 9x9 pan or two available, as this recipe makes a generous amount.) Defrost and drain spinach thoroughly. In a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients (spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, and eggs).
In a medium-sized saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil until the onion is translucent. Combine the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf.
Spoon a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Stuff the cooked pasta shells with 2 tablespoons of the filling. Place shells in baking dish. Spoon sauce over the shells.
Bake for 30 minutes or until sauce is hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with garnish. Serve with a colorful salad, and dinner is served!