Stuffed Shells with Homemade Ricotta and Spinach


1 batch Jennifer Perrillo’s Homemade Ricotta OR
2 c. fresh ricotta bought at the store

Homemade Marinara:

2 28oz. cans crushed tomatoes, with juices
6 T. butter, unsalted
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
2 T. dried basil, or 1 T. fresh basil, torn
2 t. Kosher Salt

A good crank or two of black pepper

Stuffed Shells

1 1lb. large shell pasta
10 oz. chopped spinach, (fresh or frozen), dried
½ c. Parmesan cheese
2 c. good fresh ricotta (homemade or store bought)

Crank of good pepper


1. For the Marinara: Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and allow to simmer on very low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After simmering is complete, discard the onion halves and serve.

1. For the Pasta: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and allow cool until you can easily handle them.
2. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan cheese and pepper. Mix it with a fork until well combined but still fluffy.
3. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Then, scoop a heaping teaspoonful of mixture into each shell and line them up in the baking dish. Ladle a second layer of marinara sauce on top of the shells and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
4. Bake for 35 minutes, or until heated through.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This dish can be prepared ahead of time and left, covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge until baking. Both homemade ricotta and homemade marinara sauce can be used for a variety of things. I highly recommend also using these for lasagnas, pizzas or breads. I recommend serving this with a big green salad.

Naptime Stopwatch

Ricotta: 15 minutes (so easy!) Marinara: 5 minutes for sauce, 45 minutes for simmering. Baked Shells: 15 minutes for assembly, plus baking time.

Naptime Reviews

My daughter was so confused, she thought her ravioli has burst open when she first looked at the shells! It proved to be a great dish for both kids and adults.

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