G’s mom prepared these cheese-stuffed jumbo shells with marinara sauce when he dropped by her house for dinner last weekend and he couldn’t stop raving about them. Today, he prepared them for our lunch and I couldn’t stop raving either. With firm to bite pasta shells generously stuffed with a creamy blend of ricotta cheese, mushrooms, carrots and spinach, these are what lunch dreams are made of!
- 15 pieces jumbo shells , uncooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion , peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic , peeled and minced
- 1 mini sweet pepper , seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup carrots , shredded
- 3 to 4 fresh button mushrooms , chopped
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach , chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , shredded
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded
In a pot of boiling water, cook jumbo shells for about 9 minutes or until firm to bite. Drain, layer on a sheet pan and allow to cool.
In a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until limp. Add sweet peppers, carrots and mushrooms. Continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender yet crisp. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and vegetable mixture. Stuff shells with mixture.
In a greased baking dish, add half of marinara sauce and water. Arrange shells open side up in a single layer. Cover with remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese. Cover baking dish with foil and bake in a 400 F oven for about 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve hot.