Best Stuffed Shells

Best Stuffed Shells

Best Stuffed Shells
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) fresh baby spinach or baby kale, or frozen spinach or kale, or 1 ½ pounds Tuscan kale or spinach bunches, washed and stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces jumbo shells
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into several segments
  • 15 ounces (or 1 pound) ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) grated part-skim mozzarella, divided
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup (⅔-ounce) chives or green onions (mostly green parts), cut into ¼-long pieces
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 3 cups (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil for garnish, optional

Instructions

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These Stuffed Shells are filled with delicious spinach and ricotta. They are homey and take minimal effort.

The fillings in the shells are super easy and are highly customizable. Do you feel like adding spinach? No problem. Do you have some Italian sausage or beef needing to be used? Add it here! To prepare this classic and straightforward meal, you need jumbo shells, garlic, ricotta cheese, seasoning, marinara sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 with racks in the middle and upper third of the oven. Bring a large Dutch oven or stockpot of water to boil over high heat. Generously salt the water (use at least 2 teaspoons).
  2. Using fresh greens, add them to the boiling water and cook just until wilted, about 20 to 40 seconds. Using tongs (leave the water in the pot), transfer the greens to the ice bath and let them cool down. Drain off the water and squeeze as much excess water from the greens as possible. Set aside.
  3. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil. Gently add the pasta shells in handfuls so they don’t break on the way in. Cook until pliable but just shy of al dente, about 10 minutes, stirring often so they don’t stick to the pot. Drain off the water, return the noodles to the pot, and gently stir in the olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking. Set aside.