Thursday, May 21, 2009

stuffed spinach + ricotta pasta shells

Tonight I really out did myself ;) My husband requested stuffed pasta shells, so I wanted to look for a recipe that used creamy tomato sauce instead of regular...while searching for this, I stumbled upon this recipe & decided to try it out! Only to realize it took me a good 2 hours to prepare everything...but it was worth it!! These were super yummy, and made enough for my husband to eat all weekend while I am away in Vegas with my girlfriends!! I found it on group recipes, and modified a little to our liking ;)

Makes 10 servings: Cut recipe in half to make 5 servings)


For Shells:
~1 box jumbo pasta shells (cooked al dente)
~2c. ricotta cheese (16oz.)
~1c. parmesan cheese
~1c. mozzarella
~1 10 oz. box chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
~1/2t. minced garlic
~2 eggs
~1/3c. finely minced onion
~1t. red pepper flakes
~2T. balsamic vinegar
~2T. honey (I omitted)

For Meat Sauce:
~1/3c. olive oil
~2large onions minced
~4 slices beacon chopped (I added the pre-cooked bacon & cooked until crisp)
~2t. minced garlic
~1lb. sausage (I omitted)
~2lb. ground chuck (I used 1lb.)
~1 1/2c. red wine (I used 3/4c.)
~3 large cans crushed tomatoes (I used only 2 large cans)
~1 small can tomato paste
~2t. dried basil
~1t. dried oregano
~1t. dried rosemary (I omitted)
~4T. balsamic vinegar (I omitted)

For Topping:
~1c. parmesan grated
~1c. shredded mozzarellaDirections

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil Shells and drain; set aside on wax paper to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl mix all filling ingredients till well incorporated
stuff each shell very full and lay in extra large casserole or lasagna pan; Set aside

For Sauce:
Add olive oil to a large stock pot
Add onions and cook till light carmel color
Add chopped beacon, cook till crisp
Add garlic cook 2-3 min.
Add sausage and ground chuck and cook just till all pink is gone
Add red wine, tomatoes, tomato paste and simmer 60 min stirring often
In the last 15 min add balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano,rosemary, and honey
You may choose here to add enough spices to suit your own personal taste
Pour a layer of sauce on bottom of glass dish. Place stuffed shells in bottom of pan over sauce; pur remainder of sauce over the stuffed shells. (I didnt use all the tomato sauce, I froze the rest)
Sprinkle cheeses on top

Bake for about 45 min or until top is golden


  1. I LOVE stuffed shells. I can't wait until I get back to cooking so I can try this!

  2. you will love it! next time I am going to make a veggie version of this with no meat sauce & bacon!