Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Baked pasta shells stuffed with spinach & ricotta

More pasta, can you believe the amount of carbs my pregnant body is craving, I am really loving the stuff & am not at all interested in meat of any kind as I used to be, I do still eat it though, you know iron, protein & all that jazz that apparently my body needs now. Anyhow this pasta dish is pretty simple yet sensational, it comes from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer. The fiddly part of stuffing I did while sitting on the couch so as not too tire myself out too quickly!

Baked pasta shells stuffed with spinach & ricotta

1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion finely, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 x 700g bottles tomato passata
700g fresh spinach (or 1kg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & thoroughly drained)
500g ricotta
2 eggs, beaten
100g parmesan
freshly grated nutmeg (or from a jar as I used)
salt & pepper
500g large pasta shells

Preheat oven to 200c.

In a very large saucepan, gently fry the garlic & onion for about 5-10 minutes until translucent. Add the passata & refill both bottles with water about 3 quarters full, giving them a good shake to mop up any tomato. This will give you about 1.2 litres water, add to the pan, bring to the boil, partially cover & simmer for about 25 minutes.

Soak the fresh spinach in some cold water to get rid of any dirt, then cook in just the water still clinging to the leaves until it has wilted down & cooked through, then drain very well, squeezing out as much extra moisture as you can, & chop roughly (use some scissors while still in colander is easiest).

Empty the ricotta into a bowl, add the eggs, then grate on about 75g of the cheese. Add the spinach when its cool, then stir it all together with the nutmeg, salt & pepper.

Cook the pasta shells in a large pan of slated boiling water, for about 5 minutes once they come back to the boil, then drain & leave til cool enough to handle. Tip into a baking dish, approx 38 x 32cm, so that they lie in a single layer, stuff each shell with approx 1 heaped teaspoon. Ladle the sauce over the pasta, grate the remaining cheese over the top & bake for 20-30 minutes until pasta is cooked & sauce hot & bubbling. Cool slightly before serving.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi, Ange,

This dish is a keeper. Excellent to prepare also when you have people over out of the blue.

I've eaten these shells with different fillings but this one I'll have to try!

Brilynn said...

Shells are my favourite pasta shape! These look very tasty.

David said...

looks good...I"m making shells tonight too, a bit similar with spinach, mushrooms and onion filling along w the ricotta. been awhile since I made baked shells--do you cover while baking?

Ange said...

Thks David - sounds like a nice filling too & no I didnt cover them while I was baking them - have fun!

Ange said...

Thks David - sounds like a nice filling too & no I didnt cover them while I was baking them - have fun!