The perfect meal to prepare ahead of time. Great for when we can finally have friends over for dinner again (soon please!).
This recipe is also super flexible in terms of what you add, so I encourage you to get creative!
Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 servings
1 package of large pasta shells
4 – 5 cups of spinach, roughly chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of basil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan
454 grams (1 container) of ricotta cheese
4 slices of prosciutto, sliced into small pieces
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tbsp of thyme
1/2 tbsp of red pepper flakes
1 jar of your favourite tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°C. Do not preheat oven if you are making ahead of time.
- Boil pasta shells in water, cooking the shells to al dente. Drain when finished and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, cooking until soft. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
- Remove spinach mixture from heat and allow to cool, then chop mixture again to get smaller pieces (note: This helps to avoids any stringy spinach in the mixture!)
- In a large mixing bowl add ricotta cheese, spinach mixture, basil, prosciutto, lemon juice, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Add egg to ricotta mixture and mix until well combined.
- Place pasta shells in oven-safe dish and fill shells with ricotta mixture.
- Once filled, pour jar of tomato sauce over shells and top with mozzarella cheese (note: If you are wanting to make ahead of time, stop here and place in fridge until you are ready to serve.)
- Place in oven, and cook until warmed through and mozzarella cheese has melted, about 20-25 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
– Magical Properties –
It always shocks me how much spinach shrinks when you cook it allowing you to get a good healthy serving of Popeye’s favourite vegetable! Spinach is rich in Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) need fat to be absorbed and stored in your body. Given spinach is rich in Vitamin K, it is a great vegetable to be eaten with ALL THE cheese in this recipe. Isn’t it wonderful how foods work together?
*Note that you need to be careful with Vitamin K foods if you are taking Warfarin and should speak to your health care professional before consuming high amounts.