Stuffed Shells (ricotta & spinach)
Take everything you need out of the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before preparing
For the stuffing
In a large mixing bowl, mix together with a fork:
2 lbs of ricotta
2 cups of shredded mozzarella
2 eggs beaten
1 cup of grated Parmigiano
1 cup of shredded Parmigiano or Romano
1 lb. chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
Salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder to taste
I bought a box of De Cecco large shells, which were picture perfect, (but my new camera doesn’t work, so I can’t prove it!) Not one was cracked or broken! I purchased the shells from Caputo’s Italian Market in Salt Lake City. (I think Crown Wine & Spirits, also Crown Liquor Store, carries them in FL)
Since water boils quickly here in the mountains but the food cooks slower, I boiled them in plenty of salted water for 8 minutes … by the clock. Then I drained and splashed them with good oil (can also use: or butter or margarine) and cooled them quickly with ice water. Drain the shells again tightly to get any excess water out, and stuff them with a small spoon.
I made a rosé sauce. Just add a cup and a half of heavy whipping cream to about a quart of regular tomato sauce. Fill the bottom of a large roasting pan with sauce and then line the pan with the stuffed shells. Cover with sauce and a smattering of grated cheese, and a healthy bunch of chopped basil and parsley. Bake in a hot (400-450 degree oven). I would normally bake these at home for 40-45 minutes, but since I use a convection oven here I cooked them at 425 for 10 minutes and then lowered the heat to 375 for another 20 minutes.
After a helping of these lovely rich stuffed shells, I made a mixed green salad with radicchio and rughetta English cucumber, radishes, red onion, tomatoes and Gorgonzola (because I love it!) salt, pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar. For desert: fresh picked apricots!