Sunday, July 14, 2013

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Shells

I love easy cooking.  

This dish grabbed my attention at first because I realized that all I had to do was spread the filling over the shells.  That means I didn't have to stir (wow, that makes me sound really lazy)

Talk about easy cooking.   

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Shells

1 box of pasta (your choice, but I used shells)
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 of a 10oz package frozen chopped spinach: thawed and drained of excess liquid
nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bottle of marinara sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray at 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  Cook the pasta according to directions; drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan and egg.  Stir until smooth.  Add the garlic, spinach, nutmeg, basil, red pepper and salt and pepper. 

Pour half of the pasta into the baking dish and top with half of the marinara sauce.  Spoon the spinach mixture over the sauce in and even layer.  Sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese over the mixture.  Cover with the remaining pasta and sauce.  Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. 

Cover wtih foil and bake for about 25 miniutes.  Remove foil and bake another 5 or 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and edges are slightly browned.  

**You can prepare this a day ahead.  Cover with foil and place in fridge until you are ready to cook.
**Freeze the leftovers too!

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