Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stuff Shells with Spinach and Kale

When I was a kid, my mom use to make stuffed shells with ricotta, spinach and loads of cheese. As I've started getting older, my recipes have become healthy so I can save the flat tire for an unfortunate road incident. I was craving a taste of my mom's dish, so I came up with a very simple, pretty healthy version of stuff shells. These are rich with spinach, kale, nutmeg and a touch of red pepper flakes. The result? Extremely satisfying and not terribly guilty. You can add any vegetables you like.. next time I might try shredding in some beautiful, bright red bell peppers or throw in some sweet peas.

Around 3-4 shells per person is enough, so 4 people can eat with even leftovers for lunch to make your coworkers jealous. Great for potlucks! You can halve the recipe if it's just you and your cuddle bean.. or just snack on it for a few days!

  • 20 whole wheat jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 15 oz. containers of low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 24 oz container of marinara (I sauteed my sauce with onion, garlic and hot sauce)
  • 4 cups of spinach - washed and drained - finely chop
  • 3 cups of kale - washed and drained - finely chop
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • 2-3 oz skim mozzarella cheese - grated
  • Pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1) Heat oven to 400 degrees
2) Cook shells (around 14 - 16 minutes is best to get the right texture) - drain and rinse under cold water
3) Spread marinara sauce in bottom of a large baking dish
4) In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine ricotta, spinach, kale (whatever veggies), parmesan, salt, pepper to taste, nutmeg, red chili flakes
5) Spoon mixture into shells, place on top of the sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake for 10-12 minutes
6) Broil shells for 2-4 minutes until golden brown