Pasta and cheese....what's not to love?? I've had several recipes for stuffed shells marked to try for a while now and finally decided I wanted to make them this weekend. When I set out to do so, however, I determined I didn't have all of the ingredients to make any of the recipes so I wound up piecing together a recipe that was based on a few that I had bookmarked. If I'd had a jar of tomato sauce on hand I probably would have used that but I didn't so I made the sauce using a recipe I really like from Cooks Illustrated which I've linked to below.
One great thing about this recipe is that it freezes well. I actually haven't even tried these yet. I simply made them up and stuck them in the freezer so I'd have several meals ready to stick in the oven on busier nights. I did want to get them on the blog so I wouldn't forget to post them in case I don't try them for a few weeks. I am pretty sure they're going to be delicious but I'll post an update after I bake them!
adapted from Annie's Eats and Allrecipes.com
1 (12 oz) box jumbo pasta shells
1 (15 oz.) container of ricotta cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper
2 cups tomato sauce (recipe here)
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
Squeeze spinach dry. Combine spinach, ricotta, parmesan cheese, basil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
To stuff the shells, cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of tomato sauce. Take a shell in the palm of your hand and stuff it with a large spoonful of spinach mixture, about 2 tablespoons. Place the stuffed shell in the baking dish. Continue filling the shells until the baking dish is full, about 24 shells. Drizzle the remaining tomato sauce over the shells, top with the grated mozzarella. If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 day and up to 1 month.
To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until the shells are warmed through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 60 minutes (20 minutes if shells are unfrozen.)