Baked Spinach Pasta Shells
These large pasta shells are stuffed with a delicious spinach and ricotta filling. This recipe makes a great hearty, comforting, crowd-pleasing vegetarian dinner.
- No conchiglioni? Use cannelloni pasta. Follow the same process, stuff the cannelloni, place in the tomato sauce and bake.
- No onion? You can make the sauce with only chopped tomatoes and seasonings. Or replace the onion for shallot, red onion, celery or even carrot.
- No ricotta? Use mascarpone instead. You can also add mozzarella or grated parmesan on top of the pasta before baking.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Total time: 80 minutes
200 g Spinach
1 Onion (chopped)
2 Tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp Oregano
1 tbsp Olive oil
Lemon zest (of half a lemon)
160 g Ricotta cheese / vegan ricotta style cheese
200 g Conchiglioni pasta
1 tbsp Olive oil
Salt & pepper
- Make the tomato sauce: Place the chopped tomatoes and 2 glasses of water in a food processor. Blend until smooth. In a large saucepan, fry the onion, garlic and oregano in a little olive oil, for 5 minutes, until tender. Season with salt and pepper, and pour in the tomato juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. The tomato sauce should be a little watery - don't worry, it will dry down in the oven.
- Make the spinach filling: In a frying pan, wilt the spinach along with the garlic for 3-5 minutes. Season and squeeze excess moisture. Chop a little the wilted spinach, and place in a bowl, along with the ricotta/vegan cheese and lemon zest. Mix to combine, and place into a piping bag.
- Stuff the shells: Preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan/6 gas mark. Pour the tomato sauce into a shallow baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with a generous amount of the spinach mixture, and place in the baking dish, open side up. Gently push the pasta shells in the sauce.
- Bake the spinach pasta shells: Cover the baking dish with foil to create a steam and evenly cook the pasta. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered.
How to store
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
The baked pasta shells can be eaten hot or cold. Cold, they would make a great addition to a green salad. Leftover tomato sauce can be used as a simple pasta tomato sauce. Toss in al dente pasta along with a little pasta water and serve. The spinach ricotta mixture would make a great filling for homemade raviolis. Homemade pasta sheets can be made from pasta flour and egg.