Mother of the babies that drink the morning dew.
If there is one thing truly meant for you to do in this life and on this planet, it is to take an afternoon and make stuffed jumbo shells. STUFFED JUMBO SHELLS. Wonderfully large pasta shells filled to the rim with fluffy ricotta, velvety spinach, and for a healthy surprise, whole grain bulgur.
Perfectly seasoned and nestled in a bright tomato sauce, these shells will have you doing little dances in your chair. Just make sure no one gets it on camera. You’ll look silly.
Ricotta, Spinach and Bulgur Stuffed Shells:
What it takes for 400. (just kidding, maybe 6)
* 25 jumbo shells
* 1/2 cup whole grain bulgur
* 1 bunch spinach, stems removed
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 (15.5 oz) tub of part skim ricotta cheese
* 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
* good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
* 1 tsp. dried basil
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* coarse salt and pepper
* 2 Tbs. olive oil
* fresh parm for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350.
Start by preparing the bulgur. Boil 2 cups water and pour it over the bulgur in a bowl. Cover and let sit for close to an hour while the bulgur absorbs the water. Drain excess water if there is any.
Pulse the tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and basil, and lightly simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
Boil the shells until al dente. Drain and let cool a second.
Steam the spinach in a smidge of water. Once wilted, remove the spinach and squeeze any excess water out. Give it a rough chop and add to the bulgur. Add the ricotta cheese to the bulgur and spinach, along with the beaten egg. Season well with salt and pepper.
Ladle a good cup of the tomato sauce along the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Lay the shells side by side in the dish, and stuff each one with the ricotta mixture. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Sprinkle with grated parm or pecorino before serving. I’ll say it again: Mama. Mia.
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