I never get sick of Italian food. Sometimes I think I am Italian, my name is Maria, I have dark hair, I could pass, right? 🙂 I love pasta, pizza, gelato, panini, etc. Italian food always hits the spot for me.
I recently made stuffed shells for dinner. I started with the classic ricotta spinach mixture. I also added in portobello mushrooms, onion, garlic, and red peppers. I made a homemade marinara sauce and topped the shells off with cheese.
I loved peeking in on the bubbling shells that were oozing with cheese. The house smelled amazing too. I am glad I added in the extra vegetables, the portobello mushrooms and red peppers worked well with the spinach and cheese.
I think this is a great dish to serve to guests. You can prepare the filling and stuff the shells in advance. Keep the stuffed shells covered in the refrigerator until you are ready for dinner. Bake them 35 minutes before the guests arrive and you will have an amazing dinner with no last minute hassles.
Stuffed Shells with Ricotta, Spinach, and Portobello Mushrooms
- Cook Time
- 30 minutes
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 large portobello mushroom chopped
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 15 oz ricotta cheese - I used low fat
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded (divided)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated (divided)
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach thawed, drained, and chopped (use a potato ricer to get rid of the water)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- Dash of crushed red pepper
- Salt and pepper
- About 3 cups of marinara sauce I made my own, you can use store bought
- About 18 jumbo pasta shells cooked al dente, read box instructions:)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish or Pyrex 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the onion, cook until soft. Add in garlic, mushrooms, and red peppers. Remove from heat and cool.
In a large bowl combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, stir well. Add in the egg, spinach, dried basil, crushed red pepper,salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Mix well until creamy. Add the mushroom, onion, red pepper mixture.
Pour 1/2 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of your sprayed baking dish. Place the cooked shells in the pan. Make sure they are spaced out evenly. Stuff each shell with cheese/veggie mixture. Use a spoon, it might get messy:)
Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells. Add the leftover mozzarella and Parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. You want the shells to be bubbling with goodness. Let cool for a few minutes and serve warm.