in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stuffed Shells with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Ricotta and Romano cheeses mingle with artichoke hearts and spinach to stuff these lovely shells. Finished with a lemony garlic browned butter sauce, they make a great center piece for any meal.
Spinach, Artichoke and Cheese Stuffed Shells
16 jumbo pasta shells
1 egg
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Romano cheese
3/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
2/3 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook shells for 5 to 6 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Drain and set aside to cool slightly. Beat egg in a mixing bowl. Add cheeses, spinach, artichoke, chives and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Grease a baking dish with a bit of olive oil. Using a spoon, stuff shells with cheese mixture and place in baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with red sauce or lemon garlic sauce.
Lemon Garlic Browned Butter Sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan, stirring until butter foams. Add garlic, chives and lemon zest, continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes or until butter has browned and garlic is golden. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, remaining butter and salt. Stir until butter is melted. Spoon over shells or toss with hot pasta.
Hints: Don't over cook the shells or they will tear when you try to stuff them. I use canned artichoke hearts, about half a 15 ounce can. You could use lasagne noodles coated with the filling and rolled up instead of the shells. Or spinach crepes. The sauce could be used for pork or chicken cutlets.
These shells make a great brunch dish or a lovely light dinner. The garlic and lemon flavors play off the cheeses beautifully. Your family and guests will really appreciate this dish.

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