Ricotta-Stuffed Shells with Pepperoni and Spinach
Adding chopped spinach to stuffed shells' classic ricotta filling ups the veg content, while adding a big handful of chopped pepperoni boosts the flavor.
As featured in The Applegatarian.
Total Time: More Than 60 Mins
- 3 cups tomato or marinara sauce
- 1 (12-ounce) package large pasta shells
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta
- ½ cup chopped APPLEGATE NATURALS® Pork & Beef Uncured Pepperoni
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan
- Finely chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Spread a large spoonful of tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta shells in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to the package instructions. Drain well and set aside in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the ricotta, pepperoni, spinach, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, and ½ cup Parmesan.
- Gently stuff a spoonful of the ricotta mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange the filled pasta shells in the prepared dish as you work. When all the shells have been filled, pour the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup mozzarella and ¼ cup Parmesan over the shells.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted and light golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before garnishing with the basil and serving.
Note: Pasta shells can be assembled (but not baked) and refrigerated up to 8 hours ahead of time.