I love pasta. Like LOVE pasta. I’m pretty sure it’s just the carbs. They are so delicious. And the more people tell me I shouldn’t have them, the more I want them. So, I’m just going to cure everyone’s carb obsession here: stop listening to people you can’t eat carbs! Eat them, and eat a lot of them! (Now, if you’re like me, that would get you to eat less carbs because you hate people telling you what to do).
Anywho. Back to the recipe.
This is not a recipe I make very often, especially not on weeknights, because it takes a significant amount of work. First, there is cooking of the actual pasta shells. Then you have to let them cool and dry on parchment paper. Then, there is the homemade pasta sauce. There is also the matter of cooking and draining the frozen spinach (or cooking the fresh spinach, if you decide to go that route) and mixing it with the cheese. Lastly, you have to STUFF the shells! Who woulda thought!?!
Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells
Recipe Adapted from Skinny Mom
12 oz box jumbo shells pasta
10 oz frozen spinach
8 oz part-skim Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 pound ground turkey
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
12 oz tomato paste
8 oz can of tomato sauce, no salt added
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
2 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Add pasta shells to boiling water and cook until al-dente (about 8 minutes, depending on the brand)
3) Drain pasta shells and place on parchment paper to dry.
4) Meanwhile, brown the turkey in a large pan.
5) Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic to the browned meat and cook until the onions start to soften, 5-8 minutes.
6) Next, add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and un-drained diced tomatoes to the meat mixture. Add in 1/4 cup of water and stir.
7) Add Italian seasoning, sugar, and salt to sauce and stir until fully mixed. Add in basil leaves and turn heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.
8) Place spinach in microwave and cook as directed on package. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and drain spinach of water using paper towels.
9) In a medium-sized bowl, mix cooked spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
10) Fill each shell with spinach mixture. Note: if you want to fill the shells with mixture, you will only use about three-quarters of the cooked shells.
11) Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and place about 1/3 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place the stuffed shells, seam side up, in the dish. Top shells with remaining sauce and sprinkle a handful of mozzarella cheese on top.
12) Cook for 15-20 minutes and served hot.
13) Enjoy 🙂 You deserve it!!