Festive Stuffed Shells
Festive Stuffed Shells can be the star of this magical holiday meal. I love to prepare this satisfying pasta dish to serve at gala gatherings.
- 20 to 22 jumbo pasta shells
- 3 to 4 large russet potatoes, baked and cooled
- ¼ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- ½ cup diced yellow or sweet onion
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, finely chopped
- 1⅓ cups your favorite prepared marinara sauce, plus more for serving
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the shells. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shells are almost cooked but still quite firm. Drain and let cool.
- Meanwhile, slice each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the pulp, using a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon. Measure out 3 cups of the potato pulp, making sure to pack it very tightly into the measuring cup. Put the 3 cups of the potato pulp in a high-performance blending appliance.
- Add the nondairy milk, onion, garlic, and salt. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Fold the chopped baby spinach into the potato mixture.
- Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 12 inch casserole dish. Spoon about 1 ½ tablespoons of the potato filling into each of the shells. Place each shell into the prepared casserole dish. Repeat until all shells are stuffed. Top each shell with 1 heaping teaspoon of the marinara sauce.
- Cover loosely and bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the sauce is bubbling. Uncover during the last 5 to 7 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with optional chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, if desired. Serve extra sauce in a gravy boat or small bowl to pass around the table.
Tips/TechniquesServe 3 to 4 shells per person arranged on top of Quick Baby Spinach. For a completely oil-free recipe, use no-oil marinara sauce.
Quick Baby Spinach Salad
- 3 cups lightly packed baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Put the spinach in a medium bowl.
- To make the dressing, put the vinegar and maple syrup in a small bowl and briskly whisk until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the spinach and toss gently to coat the leaves. Top with salt and pepper as desired.
Yield: 2 to 3 servings