It was Half Term here in the UK last week, not to mention the Pancake Day and Valentine’s Day which we have celebrated with my Classic Pancakes and this delicious Perfect Eggless Tiramisu. There was also a bit more time for slightly more labour intensive dishes like these Baked Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells which went down a treat with the entire family.
It is actually a really easy dish to make and although there are quite a few stages involved, you will be rewarded with wholesome , creamy and utterly delicious family feast! It’s a perfect, laid back, weekend type of cooking which I love. If you are on the roll, feel free to double the recipe to freeze for later as it freezes beautifully (minus cheeses on top, which you will add once defrosted and before baking).
Stages of cooking Baked Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells
You should start with getting your tomato sauce ready and this can be done way ahead. However, if you are making everything all at once then allow minimum half an hour for the sauce to simmer on the hob. The whole hour would be even better.
I’ve opted for some added veggie goodness in this sauce to make it that bit more wholesome and delicious. My kids absolutely adore it and the good thing is this recipe yields more than you need so you can freeze it or keep in the fridge for later. It will be perfect tossed with some pasta and cooked chicken for a quick lunch or dinner.
I puree my sauce until it’s really smooth as it simply suits this pasta dish better like that. However, you can make it as smooth or as chunky as you wish.
Pre-cook your pasta shells first. Bring large pan of salted water to boil and cook your shells for approx. 8 min leaving them slightly firm and al dente as they will cook further in the oven. Slight firmness will also help when you are filling them as they won’t fall apart in your hands. Once 8 minutes is up, drain them and cool immediately under cold water to stop cooking process. Set aside while you get on with your spinach.
If you’re using fresh spinach, place it on a colander in a sink and pour over 1-2 kettles full of boiling water over it to wilt it. Cool and drain well, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Chop finely by hand or using food processor. Set aside.
Once spinach has cooled down, mix it with ricotta, grated parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper and get filling. It’s quite therapeutic really. 🙂 In the past I used to make this bake using cannelloni (pasta tubes) which I found really frustrating to be honest hence never used to make it very often but these little pasta shells are soo much easier! No stress at all! It’s such a gorgeous and comforting veggie feast, you don’t really want to miss out and conchiglioni (pasta shells) are the way forward! 🙂
Now take a look at detailed recipe below!
If you are big pasta fan, I have some lovely recipes that might be just up your street. Check out this Spring Lemon and Dill Salmon Pasta with Asparagus and Peas or perhaps Creamy Broad Beans, Courgette & Broccoli Pasta and don’t forget my super popular Veggie Lentils and Spinach Lasagne which is perfect if you fancy a spot of batch cooking.
Have you tried my Baked Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, I love reading them!
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I’m linking my Baked Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells post with the following pages:
Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice
Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Vicki at Honest Mum Blog
Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily at A Mummy Too