On Monday I blogged about those days in life when you just need a serving of carbs overloaded with cheese. I guess there are a lot of days like that in my life because today’s recipe is for cheese stuffed pasta. Whoops. Don’t hate me. Love me. Because this recipe is delicious, quick enough to get on the table tonight, and happens to be a great meatless option. Plus it’s super cheap, about $2 a serving. Take that, fast food.
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Taste: Addictive savory falvor; a lovely melding (or should I say “melting”) of Italian flavors.
Texture: CHEESY. With meaty chunks of mushroom and toothsome pasta.
Ease: This only took me 15 minutes to prepare. Perfect for a meatless family dinner.
Appearance: When I pulled my baking dish out of the oven I nearly drooled all over it. I happen to adore crisped cheese (if you like yours a little less crisp, broil for less time).
Pros: Cheesy pasta. That’s a pro in and of itself, right?
Cons: None. Except for maybe that fact that your lactose intolerant friends can’t enjoy. Which means more for you. Yay!
Would I make this again? YES. I’ve been eating leftovers for lunch. Might change the flavor profile next time or substitute whatever is in season/in my fridge.
How to make Spinach, Mushroom, & Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Yield: 4-6 servings
20 jumbo pasta shells (about half a 12-ounce box)
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce (or 3 cups homemade sauce)
1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 oz chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)
- Set an oven rack to the highest position and heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
- Spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of a large broilerproof baking dish.
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, basil, mushrooms, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spoon the mixture into the shells and place them on top of the sauce. Alternatively, transfer mixture into a large ziploc bag, snip one corner, and pipe filling into shells.
- Sprinkle the shells with the mozzarella and bake until heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until cheese begins to brown, 2 to 5 minutes. Serve with the salad.
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