Monday, January 11, 2010

Jan 11th - Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

D actually started this dish yesterday while waiting for the Cioppino base to stew. It's a very simple dish and very comforting. You'll want to follow a few tips that I've lived and learned.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

1 pkg dry jumbo shells (you can use fresh if you want but cook accordingly)
(yields about 30-35 shells, 1lb)
500g ricotta tub
2 large bunch fresh spinach (or one pack chopped frozen, thawed)
1/2 c parmesan
1 t nutmeg
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion diced

Jar of your favourite tomatoe sauce. We used a plain, chunky Arrabiata sauce from Francis Ford Coppola winery.

Tip 1. Cut the chunkier, woody ends of the spinach stems while still in the bunch.

Wash the leaves thoroughly. Spinach can get gritty. Best to fill a sink or salad spinner with water and soak, drain and do it again.
Chop roughly.
Sautee the onion until soft but not brown. 2-3 minutes on medium high. Add the garlic and start to add the fresh spinach in bunches. Let it wilt so you get more space in the pan to add more leaves.

Tip 2. cook or ring out most of the water from the cooked spinach.

In a mixing bowl, add the ricotta, salt and pepper and mix.
Beat and mix in the egg.
Add the spinach mixture. (cooled slightly)

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the shells carefully.

Tip 3. undercook the pasta by 2 minutes. It will continue to cook the baking dish and they'll be easier to stuff.

Drain and rinse the shells in cold water.

In a large oven proof baking dish, spook a thin layer of sauce in the bottom. Spoon 2T of the cheese and spinach filling into the shell. Place the stuff shell in the dish. Cover the finished shells with the sauce. Cover with foil and keep until you're ready to make dinner or cook right away.

Pre heat the oven to 355.

Place the covered dish in the oven for 30-40 if straight away or 45-50 minutes if from the fridge. Uncover for the last 5.

Top w fresh parsley and parmesan.

Sooooo gud!

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