Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 24 jumbo pasta shells
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crumbled
- Pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups prepared spaghetti sauce
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, spinach, Parmesan, 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, the oregano, basil, nutmeg, and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread half the sauce into the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
4. Fill each shell with a scant 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
5. Loosely cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through to the center. Uncover and bake for 5 minute more. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes• The recipe can be prepared through step 4. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. Let stand 5 minutes, before serving.
• Dried pasta should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place almost indefinitely. However, dried whole-wheat pasta should be used with 1 month.
• When cooking pasta, start with at least 1 quart of water for every 4 ounces of pasta ( 1 gallon water for 1 pound pasta). Salting the water is optional and not necessary for proper cooking of pasta. Let the water come to a full boil before gradually adding pasta so that the water keeps boiling. Cook the pasta uncovered and at a fast boil. If the water stops boiling, cover it until it returns. (Take the cover off again as soon as it begins to boil.) Stir the pasta often so it will cook evenly and to prevent sticking.
• Check the pasta often for doneness. The cooking time on the package is only a guideline. Begin to test dried pasta after about 4 minutes of cooking and fresh pasta after about 30 seconds. Fish out a piece and bite it, it should feel tender but firm (al dente). Overcooked pasta will be mushy and pasty.
• As soon as the pasta is done, drain it thoroughly in a colander. Do not rinse it unless stated in the recipe.