These little ricotta cheese filled shells are so adorable and delicious. A dangerous combination. And I almost feel guilt free when I eat them because of the vegetable quotient. No, I don’t feel bad eating pasta but I do start to feel a little glutenous when the dish tastes so good that I go back in for seconds or thirds. Which is definitely the case here.
The best part of these is the process. It really feels stress free. You just dice up your favorite vegetables. I used eggplant, mushrooms and a red bell pepper, but you can use whatever you have and love. Then you toss them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, pop them in the oven and walk away.
Next step is to boil your shells. Here you want to cook them until they are just about al dente. Don’t over cook because, (1) they will lose their shape and become flat and you will not be able to fill them and (2) keep in mind they will also bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
You can use jarred sauce or homemade sauce. Just remember to still season the jarred sauce. I like to add a little bit of olive oil, salt and sugar while I’m heating it up.
For the ricotta mixture, you just mix up the ricotta cheese, some grated parmesan, shredded mozzarella, chopped fresh spinach, fresh basil, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Top off the dish with some fresh chopped basil and chili pepper flakes. Please don’t skip the flakes!
Roasted Vegetables Stuffed Shells
- 1 small eggplant, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 8 oz mushrooms, diced
- 1 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 oz pasta shells
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 heaping handful baby spinach, fine chop
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- fresh basil, chopped
- chili pepper flakes
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss your vegetables with the oil, salt and pepper. Spread out and roast for 30 minutes, tossing them halfway through. Once done, drop the temperature to 350°F.
- Season your boiling water with 1 tbs salt. Cook your shells until just almost al dente. Remove from the water and place on a large dish in one singular layer.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients with the roasted vegetables.
- Spread out 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of your 9×13" baking dish. Fill your shells with the ricotta mixture and place them in baker.
- Plop on the remaining 2 cups marinara sauce on the shells and then sprinkle 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden on cheese tops. Optional garnish with fresh basil and CHILI PEPPER FLAKES!!