Main dish

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta shells

 

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells

Stuffed shells are filled with a cheesy ricotta filling, based with a tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese and baked to perfection! Enjoy this quick and easy tutorial!

Equipment

  • Casserole baking dish
  • Oven
  • Heavy bottom saucepan
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Pastry Brush

Ingredients
  

  • 18-20 jumbo shells, cooked
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped basil

Ricotta Filling:

  • 16 oz or 2 cups of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups of spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, I used mozzarella ball cheese +1/4 cup more for the top
  • 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of white pepper
  • salt to taste

Sauce:

  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of onion, small dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can of tomato puree or 2 cups unsalted
  • 1 can or 14.5 oz of petite diced tomato unsalted
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp of oregano
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped basil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • On a low to medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into a heavy bottom sauce pan.
  • Add in your onions and cook them halfway. Then add in your garlic. Once translucent add your tomato sauce and petite diced tomato.
  • Add about 3/4 cup of water into the leftover tomato sauce jar and pour that mixture into the saucepan.
  • Cook the marinara sauce for 15 to 20 minutes with a lid on top and constantly mix.
  • Take the sauce off the heat and add in your basil, oregano and salt/pepper to taste.
  • In a saute pan, add your unsalted butter then your onions. Cook the onions to halfway translucent and add in your garlic. Once fully translucent, add in your chopped spinach and cook until it starts shrinks to half of its size. Set aside and let it cool.
  • In a bowl add your ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, spinach mixture, nutmeg, white pepper and salt to taste.
  • Mix well.
  • Cook you're jumbo shells according to package and preheat oven to 375 F.
  • In a casserole dish or any bakeable dish, add in some oil and use a pastry brush to coat the dish.
  • Add 2/3 of your sauce to the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Use a small ice cream scoop or a spoon to fill your jumbo shells with the ricotta filling.
  • Place your shells on top of your sauce. Once finished, top with the rest of the leftover sauce.
  • Sprinkle on top with about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes, uncovered.
  • Top with freshly chopped basil and serve hot.
  • Enjoy!!!!

Video

Notes

How much shells did I use for this recipe?
I used 18-20 jumbo shells
Can I add in ground beef?
Yes you can.
Where would I add in the ground beef and how much?
I would cook the beef separately and mix it with the marinara sauce when ready to assemble. About 1 pound.
Why do I add water to the jar?
Adding water to the jar helps get all of the leftover tomato sauce in the jar. Also adding water into the sauce helps the sauce thicken and allows to simmer slowly to bring all the flavors together.
What kind of ricotta and mozzarella cheese did I use?
I used whole milk ricotta cheese and  a ball of mozzarella cheese.
Do I have to add spinach? 
If you don't like it you don't have to.
Can I use frozen spinach:
Yes you can but you would have to thaw it first and the strain any excess water out of it.
Can I make the sauce and filling ahead of time?
Yes you can prep ahead.
Can I use black pepper instead of white pepper?
Yes you can but white pepper gives a really good flavor in this dish.
Cooking your jumbo shells: 
Cook shells according to package instructions.
What temperature does the dish bake at and how long?
Bake at 375F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Can I add foil?
Yes, if you choose to, I don't.
Can I use chopped parsley instead of basil for the garnish?
Yes you can.
Is it good the next day?
Of course it is!

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