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Spinach & Ricotta-Stuffed Shells

As you may have figured out by now, I love myself a hearty plate of pasta. It’s been my favorite food ever since I can remember, and that love only has increased with age as I’ve figured out how to cook different variations of pasta.

Luckily, Ryan now also enjoys pasta (that always wasn’t the case), but he prefers that the pasta have a bit more substance, such as adding a cheese filling, veggies, meat, etc. When I came across this recipe in my Real Simple magazine, I knew it would be a good compromise for us both – I get to have pasta while Ryan gets his cheese and spinach. #winning

If you’ve never made stuffed shells before, don’t be intimidated like I was. Is it tedious? Yes. But difficult? No. Getting a good grip on the shells after you’ve rinsed them in the strainer is the trickiest part – once you’ve got that down, you’re golden.

Original recipe from Real Simple

20 jumbo pasta shells (about half a 12-ounce box) 
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce 
2 15-ounce containers ricotta 
2 cups baby spinach, chopped 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces) 
kosher salt and black pepper 
1/2 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)

1. 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.

2. Spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of a large broilerproof baking dish.

3. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spoon the mixture into the shells
and place them on top of the sauce.

4. Sprinkle the shells with the mozzarella and bake until heated through, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until cheese begins to brown, 2 to 5 minutes.