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Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells | Bake to the roots

Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

  • Author: Bake to the roots
  • Prep Time: 00:40
  • Cook Time: 00:40
  • Total Time: 01:20
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian


Delicious dinner or lunch for pasta fans: pasta shells stuffed with spinach and ricotta.


For the tomato sauce:
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup (60ml) dry red wine
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable broth
17.6 oz. (500g) tomato passata
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt, pepper
For the noodles & filling:
about 25-30 large pasta shells*
1/2 red onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
7 oz. (200g) baby spinach leaves, washed & roughly-chopped
9 oz. (250g) ricotta cheese
3.5 oz. (100g) mozzarella cheese, grated
1.8 oz. (50g) parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for sprinkling & serving)
1 large egg
salt, pepper


1. Start with the tomato sauce (can be done a day in advance). Peel and chop the onion for the sauce and filling – set aside half of it for the filling. Add the oil to a pot and heat up. Add the chopped half onion to the pot and fry until soft and glossy. Deglaze with the red wine, then add the veggie broth and tomato passata to the pot and stir to combine. Add the oregano and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer over low heat for about 20-25 minutes.
2. Heat up a large pot with salted water and cook the pasta shells about 2 minutes less than recommended for “al dente” – the pasta should be flexible but not too soft. Drain and place the shells next to each other on a plate to cool down a bit. Set aside.
3. Wash, drain and chop the baby spinach leaves roughly. Peel and chop the garlic. Heat up a large pan, add the oil and let it get hot. Add the chopped onion and fry for a minute, then add the chopped garlic and fry until fragrant – another minute or so. Add the chopped spinach and cook until the volume has reduced significantly. Remove from the heat and let cool down.
4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Add the ricotta, grated mozzarella, parmesan, and egg to a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the cooled spinach and mix in. Season well with salt and pepper. Fill the mixture into a piping bag, cut off the tip and fill the cooked pasta shells well with the filling. Add about half of the tomato sauce to a large casserole dish (about 10×6 inches/25x16cm) and place the filled pasta shells on top – the shells should be placed close to each other. Pour the remaining tomato sauce into the gaps between the pasta shells and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool down for a moment, then serve. Sprinkle with some more parmesan cheese if you like. Goes well with a small salad on the side.


Enjoy cooking!

Keywords: pasta shells, ricotta, spinach, pasta, tomato

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