ricotta + spinach pasta shells

Sometimes I wonder if in my past life I was Italian. I’m absolutely terrible at cooking Asian food (my stir fries always end up more like soupy slop) and I’m always craving pizza, pasta or gelato.

Recently we had a few friends over for dinner so I made this ricotta and spinach stuffed pasta shells dish. This recipe is ridiculously easy and perfect for the family or serving large groups.

Ingredients:

1 large packet of large pasta shells
500g Ricotta
½ cup finely grated parmesan
1 packet of frozen chopped spinach defrosted
1 lemon zest finely grated
1 Tbls lemon juice
4 sprigs of Thyme (leaves removed from stem)
1 loosely packed cup of basil
1 Tbls dry mixed herbs
½ onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 large jar of your favourite tomato pasta sauce
2 tomatoes diced

Let’s cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 220oC
  2. Boil your pasta shells till just before al dente. They will continue cooking in the oven and you want them to retain their shape for stuffing. Run the shells under cold water to stop them cooking. Drain and set aside to cool separately so the shells don’t stick together
  3. In a large bowl mix together ricotta, parmesan, spinach, lemon zest and juice
  4. In a saucepan on medium heat gently cook the garlic and onion until the onion goes translucent
  5. Add the pasta sauce, tomatoes and herbs and gently simmer for 10mins
  6. Pour the pasta sauce into an oven proof dish
  7. Carefully fill the cooled pasta shells with the ricotta mix and place gently on top of the pasta sauce. Continue this until the whole dish is filled
  8. Cover will foil and bake in oven for 20mins. Remove foil to bake for last 5-10mins
  9. Serve immediately with grated parmesan

 

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