Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach , Basil, & Cheese

Prep Time
Cook Time
2h 20m
Ready In

"I've been making this recipe throughout the years and find it to be a refreshing change from the the plain ricotta stuffed shells that we're all used to. Presented here is a blend of cheeses that incorporates spinach and basil. The sauce though zippy is basic and pairs well with the shells. I tend to make extra of the sauce (double) to spoon on the bottom of your plate and then top with the shells or just add extra to the baking dish, but it's all up to you. Garlic bread and a glass of wine are perfect friends to accompany this dish."

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (407.6 g)
  • Calories 698.1
  • Total Fat - 42 g
  • Saturated Fat - 19.9 g
  • Cholesterol - 115.9 mg
  • Sodium - 2783.9 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 41.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 5.9 g
  • Sugars - 6.3 g
  • Protein - 40.5 g
  • Calcium - 1224.2 mg
  • Iron - 3.3 mg
  • Vitamin C - 34.8 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.3 mg

Step 1

In a medium sized bowl, mash together the goat cheese and ricotta. Stir in the spinach, cream, egg, basil, and 4 tablespoons of the grated cheese. Season generously with pepper. *NOTE* The filling can be made up to 24 hours ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the filling return to room temperature before proceeding.

Step 2

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in 1 tablespoon of salt.

Step 3

Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Step 4

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400-degrees F.

Step 5

Spoon 1 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a large, shallow baking dish.

Step 6

Stuff each shell with about 1 heaping tablespoon of filling and place in the baking dish, filling side up.

Step 7

Drizzle the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the stuffed shells.

Step 8

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs and remaining grated cheese. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the shells.

Step 9

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the top is slightly browned, 30-40 minutes. Let the pasta settle about 10 minutes before serving.

Jalapeno-Tomato Sauce

Step 10

In a medium-size, nonreactive saucepan over moderate heat, warm the oil.

Step 11

Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 15 minutes.

Step 12

Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, their juices, and the salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Step 13

Uncover and continue to cook, until the tomatoes sauce is reduced by about on-third, 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Step 14

Puree the sauce in a food processor or force through the medium blade of a food mill. Cool completely, cover, and refrigerate.

Step 15

I tend to make extra of the sauce, but it's up to you.

Step 16

(The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated, or it can be frozen and then thawed out).

Step 17

Makes about 3 cups.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.