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Stuff a whole meal into your pasta shells

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy 13 years ago from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the res...

All-in-one pasta dish for the family

Enjoy these big pasta shells stuffed with a delicious mixture of cheese, vegetables and meat. It's an all-in-one dinner.

Baked stuffed shell pasta with ricotta, chicken and spinach

Since we have an Italian kitchen, my kids cannot live without pasta dishes. It's hard to keep up with what they want and what they should eat. Vegetables are always at the end of the line. With this dish, I put together the ingredients with the essential nutrients that they need, pulsed into one mixture and stuffed into their pasta. It's every mom's dish!

Baked stuffed shell pasta with ricotta, chicken and spinach recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for oiling the baking dish
  • 4 ounces white chicken meat, coarsely chopped
  • 5 ounces spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 5 ounces ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons, almonds, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan
  • 12 pieces big shell pasta (conchiglioni pasta)
  • 1 cup bechamel sauce (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil, saute the chicken.
  2. When the chicken is cooked through, add the spinach. Cook for 15 minutes over low-medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer the chicken and spinach to a food processor and pulse.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the chicken and spinach mixture, ricotta, almonds and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Set aside.
  5. Over high heat, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When it boils, add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes then drain.
  6. Fill up the shells with the the ricotta mixture then line them up on an oiled baking dish.
  7. Pour the bechamel on top of the pasta then sprinkle the remaining Parmesan.
  8. In a preheated oven of 395 degrees F, bake the pasta for 15-20 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.

Bechamel sauce recipe

Yields 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Over low-medium heat, in a small saucepan, melt the butter.
  2. Stir in the flour with a small whisk until the roux becomes thick.
  3. Over low heat, add the milk gradually while whisking continuously.
  4. Add the nutmeg and salt according to taste.
  5. Remove from the fire when the bechamel becomes thick.

More baked pasta recipes

Baked pasta in eggplant crust
Baked pasta with Sriracha cream sauce

Baked ziti with sweet Italian sausage

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