Ricotta and Spinach-Stuffed Pasta Shells

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“In 'William-Sonoma: One Pot of the Day'”
1hr 50mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Sauce--drain the tomatoes, reserving half of their juices.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the tomatoes, reserved juices, the carrot, and onion.
  3. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, decrease heat to med-low, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and let cool slightly.
  5. Pass the mixture through a food mill or a medium-mesh sieve back into the pan.
  6. Stir in the oil, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, make the filling--bring a pot of water to a boil and add the spinach and 1/4 tsp salt.
  8. Cook just until tender, about 2 minutes.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the spinach to a colander to drain.
  10. Reserve the cooking water in the pot.
  11. Squeeze out excess moisture from the spinach, then finely chop.
  12. Add the ricotta to a bowl and stir in the egg until smooth.
  13. Add the spinach, 1/2 cup Parmesan, the nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt and a few grindings of pepper and mix well.
  14. Add water to the reserved spinach water in the pot to total 5 quarts and bring to a rapid boil.
  15. Add 2 Tbsp salt and the pasta shells to the boiling water, stir well, and cook, stirring occasionally, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions.
  16. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and set aside.
  17. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  18. Smear the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with 2-3 Tbsp sauce.
  19. Using a teaspoon, stuff the shells with the filling.
  20. They should be generously filled but not so stuffed that they are wide open.
  21. Place the stuffed shells, side by side and open side up, in the prepared dish.
  22. Drizzle with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  23. Cover with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes.
  24. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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