Its been a busy few days. Ryan came home from staff retreat, I worked a good bit, cleaned, and spent some quality time with my kitchen. I really like making time to spend in my kitchen. I think its a lot like making time for any other priority — friends, husband, community, family, etc. And I looooove spending extra time in the kitchen, trying out new recipes, making the apartment smell amazing. So so on the menu for today? Stuffed Shells.
These stuffed shells are not your standard back of the box recipe. They have red onion and prosciutto sauteed with garlic, a whole bunch of spinach and a little bit of cream cheese for extra creamy-ness.
I also love the fact that the dish makes the whole place smell amazingly mouth watering. Ryan even gave it the compliment of “I’d pay twenty bucks for this.” (Thats a great compliment from the very quiet husband.) He even cleaned his plate! (Another feat for the very quiet husband.)
1 box jumbo pasta shells
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
4 c spinach, shredded
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 c ricotta cheese
4 oz cream cheese
12 oz fresh mozzarella, chilled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
5 cups of tomato sauce (I used a jarred spaghetti sauce)
Unsalted butter for dotting
Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and fresh basil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cook pasta shells for 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with oil and let cool. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook red onion, garlic, and prosciutto until the prosciutto starts to caramelize. Add spinach, cook until tender and wilted, stir in vinegar, cook until evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan. Season to taste. Pour 2 1/2 cups of tomato sauce into the bottom of each of two 8×12 baking dishes. With a large piping bag pipe filling into each shell, about 32 in all. Pack shells into the baking dishes, cover with foil and freeze if desired. Preheat oven to 375F. Dot shells with butter. Bake, covered for 40 minutes. Uncover, and raise temperature to 450F. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Heat remaining cup tomato sauce, serve with shells. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.