Stuffed Shells With Spinach
We added one secret ingredient to make these Stuffed Shells next-level good.
- 1 (12-oz.) package jumbo shells
- FOR THE FILLING
- 1 large egg
- 1 (16-oz.) container ricotta
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
- ¾ c. freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino, divided
- 1 (16-oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (optional)
- ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for serving
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. lemon zest (optional), plus more for serving
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 c. marinara
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- Fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, or thyme), for serving (optional)
- Cook pasta shells according to package directions until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain immediately and shake dry completely.
- In a large bowl, stir together egg, ricotta, 1 ¼ cup mozzarella, ½ cup Parmesan, spinach, thyme, nutmeg, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon zest (if using), salt, and garlic until smooth. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready for use.
- Preheat oven to 375°. In a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic and cook until lightly golden, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add nutmeg and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add marinara and sugar and stir until combined. Transfer 2 cups of marinara to another bowl. Spread remaining 1 cup marinara evenly across the skillet.
- Fill pasta shells with 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture each and place in the skillet. Spoon remaining sauce over top. Top with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
- Bake, covered loosely, until cheese is melty, about 30 minutes. Remove foil, then bake until cheese begins to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
- Garnish with remaining Parmesan, nutmeg, and herbs before serving, if desired.