Try preparing this delicious meal ahead of time so all you’ll need to do on a busy weeknight is warm up the food—minimal effort required—and the rest of the evening is yours to savour.
- Prep time 25 minutes
- Total time 1 hour & 10 minutes
- Portion size 4 servings
In large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells until they have softened but are still quite al dente, 8 to 10 minutes (or about 2 minutes less than the package directions). Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside on clean damp tea towel.
Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Drain spinach mixture. In food processor, pulse spinach mixture with artichoke hearts, ricotta, 3/4 cup mozzarella and half of the Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
Spread tomato sauce over the bottom of 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Stuff each reserved shell with scant 2 tablespoons of spinach and artichoke filling. Place shells side by side in tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. (Make-ahead: Baking dish can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.) Set aside remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400°F. Remove plastic wrap and cover dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and broil until cheese is melted and tops of shells are crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with basil.
In saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic, chopped, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups canned whole tomatoes and 1 tsp each dried oregano and hot pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, crushing tomatoes with wooden spoon. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. (Make-ahead: Can be stored in airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.) Makes about 2 cups.
Nutritional facts PER SERVING: about
- Iron 5.3 mg
- Fibre 8 g
- Sodium 1000 mg
- Sugars 10 g
- Protein 30 g
- Calories 650
- Total fat 29 g
- Cholesterol 75 mg
- Saturated fat 14 g
- Total carbohydrate 67 g