Ricotta Stuffed Pasta (Conchiglie)

Time: 35 minutes

This recipe will give you a “reason to believe” you too can be a gourmet chef. Simple, tasty, fast, hearty…. yummy! Believe.

Music Selection: Rod Stewart – Reason to Believe

¼ cup Basil pesto

24 oz Marinara Sauce or 4 Cheese Pasta Sauce

350g Conchiglie pasta 87/b (about 2 1/2 inches long)

½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan) or favorite grated cheese blend

2 eggs

475g Ricotta cheese

1 1/2 cup Baby spinach, chopped finely

1 lemon (need 1 Tbsp lemon juice and lemon zest)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook, 12- 14 minutes, until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite – if too soft, they fall apart while filling). Reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water, drain the pasta thoroughly; toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, chopped spinach, 2 eggs, pesto, ¼ cup Parmesan,  the lemon juice and as much of the lemon zest as you’d like; season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Spread ½ the sauce over the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with a spoonful of spinach-ricotta mixture. Lay the filled shells in the baking dish in a single, even layer; spread the remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle each shell with the remaining parmesan or your favorite blend of grated cheese.

Bake, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has browned slightly. Remove from the oven; let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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