Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I heart Italian food

I have ALWAYS loved Italian food. I am notorious for being the slowest eater in my family. I would finish dinner way after the rest of the family had left the table. As a matter of fact, I still finish dinner later than everyone else, but most of the time they're nice enough to wait for me to finish before they get up now. It also helps that I eat only what I cook (for the most part) and I get to make only things I really, really like. The only exceptions to me being the last person at the table occured on the nights when we had my favorite dishes.

Which include almost all things Italian. But particularly lasagna and stuffed shells. My two favorites from my mom's list of Italian cooking. This doesn't mean I can't put away a mean plate of pasta in all of its versions, but we've got to narrow it down, at least for now. Today we'll focus on the stuffed shells. I'm sure there are many variations of stuffed shells that are delicious. I'm going to be stubborn and say these stuffed shells are the BEST and I could never get tired of them. I don't even know where this recipe comes from originally, but it's a keeper!

Stuffed Shells

1 package frozen, chopped spinach (although an equivalent of fresh works as well)
3 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic
2 eggs
1 15 ounce container of Ricotta
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1 tbsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
24 giant shells
1 jar Prego or your favorite pasta sauce or make your own!
Cook the shells according to the package while you prepare the stuffing mixture.

If you're using frozen spinach, cook it according to the instructions on the package, although you can stop it a minute or two before it is completely cooked. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the onions and garlic until softened. Add the spinach and cook for about three minutes. Instructions say to cool the spinach/onion mixture, but I always get impatient and move on.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir the two eggs into the ricotta until well mixed. Add the spinach and onions. Then add everything else. Stuff each shell with a large spoonful of the stuffing mixture. Pour a layer of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the shells on top of the sauce and then cover with another layer of sauce. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the shells are hot and bubbly.

Note: the recipe calls for baking the shells covered, but I think we have always baked them uncovered.


  1. very nice....I think you'll have to try my baked ziti;)

  2. Mmmmmmm...guess what I want to make now? Thanks! ;-P

  3. I'm making these tonight: super excited!

  4. Richele, let me know how they turn out!