Monday, May 3, 2010

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Makes 6 - 8 servings

Marinara Sauce
1 quart whole tomatoes
1 pint tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti
2 carrots, finely diced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil

Saute' onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until translucent, add carrot and saute' until onions begin to brown around the edges.  Add mushrooms, garlic and a little more olive oil, if necessary.  Saute' until mushrooms begin to soften.  Add whole tomatoes, tomato sauce and wine, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Spinach Ricotta Filling
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry and chopped

In a medium bowl, mix filling ingredients.

Shells and Topping
1 12 oz. package Jumbo Shells
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded 

Boil shells in 5 quarts of water, salted with 1 tablespoon salt, until al dente.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking and make them easy to handle.

Stuff shells with cheese and spinach mixture and arrange in a 13 x 9 pan, overlapping slightly. Top with marinara, sauce (there may be some sauce left over, refrigerate or freeze and use at a later date) and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes, uncover and broil for a minute or two until slightly browned.  Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.