Stuffed shells don’t have to be laborious. We fill ours with a pesto-enriched blend of ricotta and spinach, then briefly simmer stovetop in garlicky marinara for a comforting weeknight supper.
What You Get
Grated Parmesan cheese
What You’ll Need
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chile flakes (optional)
Makes 3 servings
35 minutes active time
45 minutes total time
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add half of the spinach to the boiling water, and cook until just wilted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the spinach to a colander to drain and cool slightly. (Keep the water boiling.) Place the drained spinach leaves in a kitchen towel and wring out any excess liquid.
Add half of the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente, 10 minutes or 1 minute less than the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water, giving the noodles a good shake to get rid of any extra water.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta with half of the pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the wilted spinach, and add to the ricotta mixture, stirring until combined.
Chop 3 cloves of garlic. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce and a pinch of chile flakes, if you want some heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and cook until the flavors combine, 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Stuff each shell with 1 tablespoon of the filling. Nestle the filled shells into the marinara sauce. Cover and simmer until the shells are warmed through, 5 minutes. Pick the basil, discard the stems, and tear the leaves.
Spoon the shells into shallow bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan and torn basil leaves, and serve warm.
Contains: milk, tree nuts, wheat.