These delicious spinach ricotta stuffed pasta shells were well received by my family at the dinner table. The jumbo pasta shells were packed with spinach, ricotta AND BACON!! I thought my family would like that little surprise. They were so thrilled with the creamy white sauce and delicious flavour, they didn’t even question the spinach hiding in the stuffing.
The most time consuming part to this easy pasta dinner recipe is preparing the pasta shells. I decided to make two meals at the same time. It takes about the same amount of time to prepare two meals as it does one. Which really is not that much. I made the filling as the pasta shells were cooking. I allowed the pasta shells to cool a bit after they were done cooking so I didn’t burn my hands. While they were cooling, I made the sauce. If you set all your ingredients out on the counter before you get started, having a recipe come together is so much easier!
This recipe for stuffed pasta shells with ricotta, spinach & bacon would also be perfect for couples or individuals as this recipe is easily separated into dinner portions. I found 3 stuffed shells was the perfect portion per person for our family. This recipe made 12 stuffed shells. Remember that second meal I made? I just covered it with foil and popped it into the freezer for another day.
Though this recipe was super easy to put together, I would definitely add it to my list of recipes for a Freezer meal party. There were a few too many steps for a typical dinner unless it was the weekend and I was making at least two or more dinners.
If I can completely deviate from meal planning and freezer meal recipes, I’d like to bring your attention my photos. These pictures really make me happy. I have had the pleasure of learning A LOT about food photography over the past year. I started off with reading Nagi’s photography book. More recently, I’ve had the pleasure of attending Denis The Prescott’s photography class at the Food Blogger’s of Canada conference. Oh.My.Goodness! To say Denis is a talented photographer is a mild understatement. Like, have you seen his Instagram account? Totally drool worthy and incredible works of art. Who knew someone could make food look so glamourous???
During the photography class, we were able to pick Denis’ brain from everything about clustering in groups of odd numbers (ie. Group tomatoes in 3’s, 5’s, 7’s…etc), creating leading lines using the utensils and always creating balance in a photo with colours. I’m hoping to create a few more blog posts talking about what I’ve learned but for now, I’m just going to enjoy the fantastic tips Denis shared and hopefully work at improving my photos each day.
Stuffed Pasta Shells with Ricotta, Spinach & Bacon
- 12 jumbo pasta shells
- 28 ounce jar/ or 1 recipe alfredo sauce
- 15 ounce ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ cup mozzarella cheese , shredded, divided
- 1 ½ cups fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ pound (4 slices) bacon, cooked, crumbled
Bring a large pot of water of a rolling boil. Cook the pasta shells as per package instructions until they are just slightly undercooked. They should still be somewhat firm.
If you are cooking this dish right away, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9x9 inch baking dish and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, cook your bacon in a large frying pan. Drain any excess grease from the pan and return the bacon back to the pan. Add the fresh spinach into the frying pan and cook until wilted.
Transfer the bacon and spinach to a medium bowl to cool slightly. Once cool, stir in the ricotta, egg, ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Make sure the mixture is well combined.
Spoon some of the alfredo sauce over the bottom of your baking dish. Using a spoon, scoop the spinach and cheese mixture into the cooked pasta shells. Arrange the stuffed pasta shells in your baking dish with the stuffed shell opening facing up and spoon the remaining alfreado sauce over top of the shells. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over top.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until heated through and the cheese on top is melted and bubbling.
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