I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too! Welcome!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Classic Ricotta Stuffed Shells

These jumbo stuffed shells are a classic Italian comfort food with a creamy, cheesy spinach filling and a full bodied tomato sauce. Serve them with a big, old Caesar salad or with Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Drumsticks. (See the link at the end of this post)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 tsps minced garlic
2 tsps dry oregano
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups passata (strained tomatoes)
pinch of sugar
26 jumbo pasta shells
1/2 tbsp olive oil
200g (6 cups) packed fresh spinach
1 cup ricotta
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tsps minced garlic
handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Start with the sauce. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion cooking 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and oregano for 30 seconds then pour in the diced tomatoes and passata along with the balsamic, salt, pepper, tomato paste and sugar. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

For the filling heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add the spinach and stir just to wilt, 1-2 minutes. Drain off the hot water and let the spinach cool. When cool enough to handle squeeze the liquid out by wringing it in a clean dishtowel then return to the pot or a large bowl. Add ricotta, parmesan, garlic, basil, salt and pepper to spinach.

Cook the pasta shells to al dente, maybe 5 minutes less cooking time than actually required on package. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Pour the sauce into a 13 X 9" baking dish and preheat the oven to 350°F. Fill each shell with about 2 tsps of filling. Do not overfill or the shells may split, but once you've filled each shell you may go back and add a little more here and there.

Sit the stuffed shells in the sauce and top with shredded mozzarella and more parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Serves 6
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Drumsticks:
Adapted from: thelastfoodblog.com

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