We love creamy, cheesy artichoke dip, so we’ve devised a version of it and stuffed it into tender pasta shells. Covered with our favorite jarred marinara (Mario Batali’s), it’s then baked for a satisfying dinner.
Stuffed shells are ideal for family suppers and potluck meals. In the oven, the cheese melts and turns golden brown. If you have a nice 3-quart ceramic casserole or baking dish, use it instead of the baking pan. A large kitchen spoon is perfect for serving. To complete the menu, add a leafy salad and a loaf of Italian bread.
One tip will set you on the right track: Don’t overcook the pasta shells. When boiling the pasta, follow the package directions for cooking time. We boiled the shells exactly 9 minutes, and they were firm enough to hold their shape when filled. If overcooked, the shells will be too floppy to handle.
Artichoke Cheese Stuffed Shells
We love the creamy richness and texture of whole-milk ricotta cheese, but you can use part-skim, too. For potluck meals, bake the shells according to the recipe and reheat them when you get to you’re destination.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
18 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained according to package directions
2 cups jarred marinara sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, nutmeg, Gruyere and artichoke hearts in a large bowl. Mix well. Fill pasta shells with mixture. Place in baking dish. Spoon marinara sauce over top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
3. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is golden brown. Serves 6.
Per serving: 470 calories, 23g fat, 70mg chol., 25g prot., 37g carbs., 3g fiber, 630g sodium
Photo credit: Teresa Blackburn