The weather has been BLAH for weeks now, and that means we’re spending more nights at home. L whipped up this quick/healthy (but also deliciously comforting) pasta dish on Saturday night.

Ingredients: 
  • 16 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound baby spinach (or 8 oz frozen spinach, thawed)
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 16 oz skim ricotta cheese (or 8 oz ricotta and 8 oz part-skim mozarella, grated)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Method:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain well then toss with olive oil in a large bowl; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat some olive in a wide pan over medium heat. Add red onion and garlic and cook a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add spinach and cook until wilted (or softened, if you used frozen), a few minutes more.
  • Add spinach, onion and garlic to bowl with ricotta, mozzarella (if using), egg and basil to make the filling.
  • Spray the bottom of a shallow baking dish (large enough to hold the shells in one later) with non-stick cooking spray. Add a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce in the bottom. Fill each shell with spinach mixture and arrange in the dish.
  • Pour remaining sauce over and around the stuffed shells and top with Parmigiano Reggiano. Cover with foil and bake until hot throughout, 20 to 30 minutes, then uncover and continue baking until golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Adapted from a Whole Foods recipe.
  • Spinach Filling
    spinach filling.
    Shells
    we squeezed as many shells as possible.
    Ready to Bake
    ready to bake.
    Finished Baked Shells
    of course we forgot to take a pic of our finished product…so here’s one from Whole Foods

    Pour remaining sauce over and around the stuffed shells and top with Parmigiano Reggiano. Cover with foil and bake until hot throughout, 20 to 30 minutes, then uncover and continue baking until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.