Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells & Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe

I'm linking this recipe up with Lora because I just posted this. Ya'll know I love a good link-up ;) Enjoy!!

Well since one person so many of you wanted this recipe I decided to post about it.

I know. I'm such a crowd pleaser :)

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells 
Look at that artsy angel... yeah... I took that myself ;)

This is for 6 people with 4 shells/ person. 

- 24 Jumbo Shells 

- 2 1/2 cups of Ricotta (either whole or part-skim... both work great)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup of Mozzerella
(I always eye ball my spices)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 10 ounce box of frozen, chopped spinach (NOT creamed). You thaw it, then put it in a paper towel and squeeze all the water from it.
- 1 large egg yolk (save the white for breakfast :))
- 1 garlic clove (or more if you love garlic... like me)

***You can also add ground beef, chicken, turkey, or sausage. I have used all of these things and they are great. Just brown it and drain and stir it into the ricotta mixture before you stuff it.

Next, you get a big pot of water and boil the shells according to the box instructions.. Cook them till al dente because it will keep cooking in the oven.

Just in case you didn't know what boiling noodles look like.

While the noodles are cooking mix all the other ingredients together. 
Not mixed up. Check out that cheese... YUMMY (Also this is a tripled recipe.. you won't have that much in there)
Look how good I am at mixing. 

Put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the pan. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan so the shells don't stick. When the noodles are done drain them and let them cool (enough to handle.) When they're cool you just get a spoon (or your fingers ;) and spoon the cheese mixture into the shells and line them in a baking dish. 

After you've stuffed all the shells then pour your sauce over top. And top with cheese if you're feeling cheesy :)

I grated my own mozzarella cheese today and when I was cleaning I just swooshed the extra on the ground for my clean up crew. Look at my little angels precious little cripple legs. 

This is my super secret spaghetti sauce recipe:

-1 BIG can of tomato sauce
-1 can of petite diced tomatoes (juice included). You can use whatever type of tomatoes that you like here. I just like the petite diced because I hate hunks of tomatoes.
-1/2 onion
-2-3 cloves of garlic (or less... depending on your preference. I love garlic I know I already said that. 
-1-2 teaspoons of salt (to taste)
-1/2 teaspoons of pepper
-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1-2 TBSP of Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 cup (eye balled) of balsamic vinegar
-1-2 teaspoons of sugar (after you put everything else in the pot just do a little at a time till it taste right)
-1 squirt of tomato paste (about a tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Okay. Dice up the onion. If you don't know how to do this properly then click this link. It is so easy and it will save your life (not literally) and give you even knife cuts. After you diced the onion, put the oil in the pan on a medium-high heat an sautee the onions for about 10 minutes until they're translucent. Then when they are see-through (for those of you who don't know what translucent means) add the garlic and let it cook for about a minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic- stir it if you think its cooking too quickly. After the onions and garlic are done pour in the tomato sauce and tomatoes and stir. Then add all the seasonings and taste it and adjust whatever you need. Like I said I usually eye ball all of this so just taste it and add whatever you think. 

My sauce is in the purple pot. Yum.
Hazel is eating noodles.

I hope you like it as much as we do! Remember to taste as you cook to make sure your seasonings are good. 

Or you could just buy marinara sauce but this is WAY better in my humble opinion. 

After you pour the sauce over the stuffed shells  then cover it with tin foil &bake it at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. Until the sauce is bubbly. Then take the tin foil off and cook until the cheese is melted (usually like 10 minutes) but keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. 

I usually double this recipe. 1 box usually makes enough for 2 dishes so I'll freeze one. It freezes beautifully. When you freeze it just let it thaw before you cook it. (I have never cooked it from frozen... I'm sure you could but I don't know how long that would take).



  1. Yay!!! Thanks so much! I can't wait to try this out! Maybe I will make my own personal size serving of this to "test" it out before I share with the family ;) it's for their own good!

  2. Please send me a pan. And homemade sauce? Oh lawd, that is my love language.

    1. girlfriend I will send you some for your birthday! when is it? I'm not doing it till then because I'm lazy. :) We had them for dinner last night and my husband fell in love with me all over again ;)

  3. Those look FANTASTIC!!! My birthday is in march ;)
    Your dog makes me so sad!! :(

    1. I know. She is pitiful but she is definitely getting better! She is getting a lot more movement in them so its getting better :)

  4. Fabulous! I always love to see what people put in their sauce.

    Stopping by from Lora's blog.

    1. Thank you! I think the balsamic vinegar really adds a lot of flavor!

  5. Yum...can't wait to make it for my family.. Thank you for sharing!