Foodie Friday Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells
Stuffed shells can be made ahead until ready to bake and are even better when the filling gets a boost from some baby spinach. Nice Vegetarian (not Vegan) main meal
Spinach/Cheese Stuffed Shells for Two (prep. time about 1 ½ hours, including baking time. Serving size: 3 shells per person)
6 jumbo pasta shells
1 C. ricotta cheese
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese (plus ¼ cup to top)
¼ C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tb. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. oregano
A pinch each of salt and black pepper, red pepper flakes
½ package spinach leaves
1 C. jar spaghetti sauce or you can make your own by cooking down diced onion, green pepper, diced garlic and diced tomato in about 2 Tb. Olive oil.
Bring well salted water to a boil and cook shells until tender then drain well. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, basil, oregano and pepper flakes. Add spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper. Allow spinach to cool and stir in the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Heat oven to 375. Allow the shells to cool enough to handle. . Spread a little sauce onto the bottom of a baking pan. Fill the shells with the cheese mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the pan and spoon the rest of the sauce over the top and sprinkle the top of each shell with mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes cover. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes (longer if made ahead and refrigerated before baking) until the cheese is melted and shells are warmed through.
Serve with salad and garlic bread.