On Artichoke & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Happy November everyone! Nothing makes me crave pasta and cheese more than colder weather, and in honor of the continued effort of the cooking initiative at work, below is a recipe I have adapted for you all to enjoy! I also won’t ignore the fact that today is Election Day, but don’t worry, I am not going to get into it here, though I do highly recommend you exercise your civil duty and vote. That’s it! And if you are planning on having a socially distanced watch party (or just hanging out with your family like I am up in Buffalo), or just need that classic combo of pasta and cheese, this should definitely be a satisfying crowd pleaser.

Hoping all of you reading this are staying safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

Artichoke & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Ingredients – Serves 4-6

  • 1 14oz can of chopped artichoke
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped basil – have some extra chopped for serving
  • 1 full egg AND 1 egg yolk
  • 1 15oz tub of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ a 5oz tub of grated parmesan
  • 8oz package of mozzarella pearls
  • 1 10oz bag of fresh spinach 
  • 1 24oz jar of Paul Newman’s Tomato & Basil Bombolina Sauce (this is my favorite go-to store sauce only because some brands cause heartburn for me, which is noooooo fun)
  • 1 box of jumbo pasta shells 
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F / 200C.
  2. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan on a low heat and add the spinach, straight from the bag, and cook until it has wilted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Then place the wilted spinach in paper towels and squeeze out as much of the moisture you can.  Then chop the spinach finely, then add to a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the chopped artichoke, garlic, basil, ricotta cheese, parmesan, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and mozzarella pearls to the mixing bowl and stir together until well mixed. Give a quick taste, and add in more salt/pepper to taste. Then add in the egg & egg yolk, stir again until well mixed and set aside.
  4. In a pan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta for a little more than half the time shown on the packaging (6 minutes is the perfect number for my house). Drain the pasta and allow to cool.
  5. In a baking dish, add half the jar of pasta sauce across the bottom.
  6. Fill the pasta with the spinach and artichoke mixture, and place in the baking dish on top of the pasta sauce. Add the remaining pasta sauce over the top of the filled pasta shapes.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes before serving. Great with garlic bread and a salad!

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