Stuffed Shells, Stuffed with Goodness!

One of the great things about being on twitter and blogging is the chance to read other blogs, and to try out what I have been reading at home.  Be it fitness, food, or random recommendations, I can go into the blog-o-sphere and walk away with great ideas.I picked up this recipe from The Runners Kitchen. Megan writes about running and cooking, and her blog is a great read.  She posted this recipe in November, her mother’s stuffed shells.  I knew I was having friends over for lunch in early December, and stuffed shells, a good all American meal, would be perfect.  Comfort food at its finest.  Stuffed shells also remind me of good times at the University of Maryland.  In our freshman year, my friend Laura had to write a paper on metaphors – she chose to describe herself as “content like a stuffed shell” – we laughed so hard!  With this metaphor memory in mind, I was optimistic that this recipe would be a winner for a casual lunch with friends.One thing Megan says is that when making this you could substitute some of the ricota cheese with mushrooms, peppers and onions, to make the dish less cheesy / add more vegetables.  I think I will try that next time, as I would have liked more vegetables.  I think I will take out about 200g of cheese, and add in a half an onion, half a pepper, and some mushrooms.  To stuff them with more goodness and remove some of the richness.This was a rich dish for me due to all of the cheese, so keep that in mind when thinking about portions.  The below made enough for about 8 to 10 people.Everyone loved the shells – it was, for lack of a better word, more-ish.  As in “I want more, please!“Ingredients:Pasta Shells1 bag of baby spinach (about 250g)32 oz ricotta cheese (about 1800g)8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 200g) – hard mozzarella cheese, not buffalo mozzarella2 eggs1/2 tsp salt1/4 tsp pepperpinch nutmeg1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff, parmigiano reggiano)Marinara sauces (about 24 oz – you can make this yourself or purchase a plain tomato marinara sauce)Instructions:Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180CBring a large pot of water to boil, as salt, and cook shells for 10 minutesAfter shells are done cooking, drain and place on a traySteam spinach, drain thoroughly, chop.In a large bowl, mix ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and spinach (and if you are using onions, peppers and mushrooms, mix into the cheese at this stage)Spread marinara sauce on bottom of baking dishFills shells with ricotta filling and place in bottom of dishOnce dish is layered, cover with marinara sauce and repeat until filling / shells run outCover with rest of sauce, and sprinkle top with parmesan cheeseCover with foil, bake for 35 minutesEnjoy!

2 responses to “Stuffed Shells, Stuffed with Goodness!”

  1. MMMM. This looks d-licous. I haven’t had stuffed shells in forever! It is one of those things that my mom used to always make me, but I’ve never done myself. I’m adding this of new recipes to learn this winter!

  2. I hadn’t had them since university – so that’s why I tried Megan’s recipe. They were good, but give yourself about 45 minutes to make the filling, shells, and stuff them, and then add on the cooking time.  It is a slow process, but yummy.  Oh, and rich.  I didn’t need much because they were rich, so I would definitely add peppers mushrooms and onions when making them again to try and get more nutrition in the meal / lighten it up.

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