Red and Green Stuffed Shells by Ree

Originally from:

Here’s something awesome to do with yummy food and we wanted to post it for you! Eat well!

DSC_1922This is one of my favorite recipes from my new cookbook (well, one of about 140 favorite recipes from my new cookbook—ha! I love food) and I wanted to share it with you because the title sounds very Christmasy AND it happens to be out-of-this-world yummy. It also happens to be a fabulous dish for the freezer: You can make it now, freeze it unbaked, then save it for one of those busy days during Christmastime when you don’t have time to make dinner but your family is banging their forks on the table.

Oh…that doesn’t happen to you? Oh. Never mind.

Here’s how to make this delightful dinner!

DSC_1583Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic, and saute it until the onion starts to soften, about 4.992839948 minutes.

DSC_1586Add some baby spinach…

DSC_1590And cook it, stirring constantly, until it’s lightly wilted, about 2.33049488787 minutes.

Okay, fine. I’ll round up/down next time. I just like to be precise, man!

DSC_1599Let it cool a bit, then place the spinach inside a few paper towels and squeeze out as much liquid as you possibly can.

DSC_1605Give it a rough chop and set it aside.

DSC_1597Now, back to the skillet you sauteed the spinach in: Turn the heat to medium-low, then melt some butter and sprinkle some flour over the top.

DSC_1598Whisk it together to make a roux, then cook it for a minute or two, stirring gently.

DSC_1607Slowly add milk, whisking out lumps as you go…

DSC_1610And cook it until the white sauce is thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.

See? I rounded!

DSC_1611Turn off the heat and add salt and pepper…

DSC_1625And some basil and parsley! Stir it around and set it aside (you can add another 1/4 cup milk if it gets too thick!)

DSC_1603Now you need the cheese mixture! Ricotta, Parmesan, egg, a little more basil and parsley, a little salt and pepper…

DSC_1613Then drop in the spinach…

DSC_1616And stir it in. (And, if you’re me, eat a big spoonful. Raw eggs don’t scare me.)

DSC_1620Now grab some jumbo cooked pasta shells (let ’em cool) and use a spoon to smear the spinach/cheese mixture inside. Stuff ’em generously!

DSC_1623Place ’em seam side down in a 9 x 13 pan, whether it’s foil or ceramic. (Put a little marinara sauce in the bottom of the pan first.)

DSC_1629Pour the rest of the marinara evenly over the shells (but do not spread it into an even layer.)

DSC_1631Then ladle the white sauce over the marinara in a zig-zag/line design.

DSC_1636Finally, sprinkle on some extra Parmesan! You could even top it with mozzarella…but it’s delicious as it is.

DSC_1915If you’re baking it right away, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake the shells for 25 to 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. (If you’d rather freeze it, cover the pan of unbaked shells tightly with heavy foil and freeze for up to 6 months. Then bake it in a preheated 375 degree oven for 1 hour 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 30 minutes more, depending on how frozen it was. Alternatively, you can thaw the pan in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours, then bake as directed.)

DSC_1918Serve 2 to 3 shells at a time!



Here’s the handy dandy printable.


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