The ultimate Italian comfort food – conchiglioni (pasta shells) stuffed with a cheesy ricotta and spinach mixture, and deliciously smothered with a homemade tomato sauce.
I always thought this would be notoriously hard to make, until my husband brought back from Napoli those Giant Pasta shells from 100% Italian wheat, so this is the time to give it a try, I thought. Trust this. Follow the steps I give you below, and you wouldn’t believe how easy this is. Not to mention that the kids didn’t only love the taste, but they were having so much fun, pretending to be sharks eating seashells. Hilarious!
Hands on: 30 minutes
Bake time: 50 minutes
300gr. (10.6 oz) pasta shells
For the stuffing
500gr. spinach finely chopped
450gr. (15.8 oz) ricotta cheese
250gr. (8.8 oz) cream cheese (light)
For the tomato sauce
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
600ml (20.3 fl.oz.) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon dry basil (finely chopped)
250ml (8 fl.oz) boiled water
½ tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)
How to do it
Boil the pasta for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
On the same pot add 125ml (4fl.oz) water with salt and bring to boil.
Add the spinach to boil for 2 minutes.
Then put the spinach in a strainer and press down lightly with a spoon to release all the liquid. Set aside to cool.
Dry the same pot with a towel and place it over medium to high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and when it gets hot sauté the onion and the garlic for 2 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, the sugar, 1 tablespoon dry basil, 250ml (fl.oz) water, a pinch of salt and pepper and continue cooking for around 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomato sauce is ready.
In a bowl mix the spinach, the ricotta cheese, the cream cheese, salt and pepper. Stir well with a spoon and the stuffing is ready.
Stuff the pasta shells.
Brush some olive oil to the bottom of a baking pan and place the pasta shells.
Add the tomato sauce on the top (to cover all the surface).
Sprinkle 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese.
Bake in preheated oven 180oC (350oF) for 50 minutes.