You can make the bolognese sauce ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. You can also use tomato sauce or marinara sauce or store-bought pasta sauce instead of the bolognese sauce. Please make sure you cook the shells for half the recommended maximum time so that they don’t break during filling. Enjoy the recipe!
Make the bolognese sauce ahead of time. Then make the ricotta filling and boil the pasta shells for half the maximum time. Drain and allow to cool then fill the shells with the stuffing and arrange on a layer of bolognese sauce. Bake until bubbly and slightly browned. Serve.
Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Bolognese Sauce
- 4 cups bolognese sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
- 500g (1Ib) spinach, washed stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup (8oz, 250g) whole milk ricotta cheese
- 125g (4oz) prosciutto, finely chopped
- ¾ cup (3oz, 90g) grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 18 dried jumbo pasta shells
- Extra grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC) ten minutes before using.
- Make Ricotta-Spinach Filling: melt the butter in a large skillet over medium low heat add the shallot and garlic and sauté stirring frequently until soft, about 5 minutes (do not brown). Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently over medium high heat until it’s wilted, and all the water evaporates, about 8 minutes Season with salt and pepper. Cool the spinach to room temperature. Add ricotta cheese, prosciutto, Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix well.
- Cook the shells: cook the shells in plenty of salted water as per packet instructions for half the stated maximum time. Drain, rinse in cool water, and rinse again.
- Fill and Bake the shells: Pour two cups bolognese sauce in a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33cm) baking dish and spread to cover the base. Fill each shell with 2 tablespoons of the filling. Arrange the shells on the layer of bolognese sauce. Top with the remaining the bolognese sauce. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
Points to Note
- 225g (8oz) fresh spinach makes about 1 cup cooked spinach.