Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stuffed Pasta Shells

This was supposed to be a lunch box meal that my daughter could take to school, but it’s so delicious that I’ve started making it for supper for the whole family. It’s a little time-consuming, but well worth the added effort.


16 jumbo shell pasta
12 cups (3L) boiling water
1½ tsp (7mL) salt
2 tbsp (20 mL) hard margarine (or butter)
½ cup (125 mL) chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced (or ¼ tsp., 1 mL, powder), optional
1 tbsp (15 mL) water
10 oz (300 g) box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup (250 mL) ricotta cheese
1/3 cup (75 mL) grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, fork-beaten
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground nutmeg
½ cup (125 mL) grated part-skin mozzarella cheese


Cook pasta in boiling water and first amount of salt in large uncovered pot or Dutch oven for 13 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain well. Return pasta to same pot. Set aside.

Melt margarine in small frying pan on medium. Add onion. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened.

Add garlic. Heat and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Cool.

Drizzle water in ungreased 3 quart (3 L) shallow baking dish.

Combine next 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Add onion mixture. Stir well. Makes about 2 cups (500 mL) filling. Spoon 2 tbsp (30 mL) filling into each pasta shell. Arrange stuffed pasta shells in single layer in prepared baking sdish.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top of shells. Cover with foil. Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven for about 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Discard foil. Let stand for 5 minutes. Makes 16 stuffed pasta shells.

(This recipe freezes very well, so make a large batch and save some for another day.)


  1. Stuffed shells - one of my favorites! They freeze so well, too. I usually cover mine with marinara sauce when I bake them, but I'm sure the unsauced version makes a better lunchbox dish.

  2. Ginny, I never thought to try marinara sauce on this meal; that sounds very good. I might just do that next time I make this.