Stuffed Shells with Ricotta and Spinach


6 oz jumbo dry pasta shells, about 25
Kosher salt
Olive oil, for greasing baking dish and drizzling if desired
10 oz fresh spinach
1 lb ricotta
`12 oz fresh mozzerella, shredded
2 oz parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch fresh nutmeg, grated
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 375F. Heat up a large pot with salted water, and cook shells according to package directions. If shells do not contain times for baked dishes, cook shells about 3 minutes fewer than standard cooking time. Transfer to a bowl of cold water when cooked, then drain. Drizzle with oil and toss carefully to coat.

Cook spinach in same cooking water if desired, or cook garlic, then add the spinach and saute. Rinse in cold water to chill and allow to dry throughly. Lay spinach on a paper towl and roll into a tube, squeezing to remove moisture. Transfer to a cutting board and chop.

Line a triple layer of paper towels with the ricotta and let dry for 5 minutes and transfer ricotta to a bowl. You may need a spatula to scrape off the towels. The process is to remove excess liquid.

Add half the mozzarella, 3/4 the parmesan cheese, garlic and nutmeg to the ricotta. ┬áSeason with salt and pepper. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with oil, then spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom. Fill each shell with about a spoon scoop of filling and place opening side up in the baking dish. If it doesnt stay closed by itself, that means there’s too much filling. Repeat until dish is full, you may have leftover shells.

Spoon the last 1 cup of tomato sauce on the shells and top with shredded mozzerella and leftover grated cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes.

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