Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Artichoke & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!
I loved this pasta dish.  Loved it.  It is one of the best things I have cooked in awhile.  The ricotta cheese sauce might seem like it would be heavy, but it wasn't at all.   And the white wine added an amazing flavor - do not skip it!  And while we are on the topic of wine, I am not a white wine drinker, so I like to keep little single size servings of white wine in my pantry for recipes that call for it. 
{ Recipe adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe shared on Bon Appetit }
Ingredients for Shells:
18 - 20 jumbo pasta shells (approximately half of a 12-ounce box)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped small
12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 5 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup (1-1/2 ounces) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for Sauce:
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I used skim and it worked just fine)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook shells according to package directions.  Drain and toss with a dash of olive oil to keep from sticking.  Set aside for now.

2.  Melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook it until it turns nutty and brown.  Stir occasionally to keep the butter moving on the bottom of the pan. Once it is a nice brown, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then the onions and cook them until they are lightly brown and caramelized.  This should take 5 - 7 minutes.  Let me tell you this smelled amazing!

3.  Add the artichoke hearts and spinach and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it completely disappears.
4.  Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.  Add cheese, the yolks, lemon juice, salt and black pepper and stir until combined.  Cover and set aside while you make the sauce.

5.  Time to make the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour all at once and whisk it until smooth. Add the milk, a small amount at a time. Whisk constantly so no lumps form. Once the mixture has reached a batter-like consistency, you can begin adding the milk in larger pours at a time, whisking the whole time. Once all the milk is added, add the garlic and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, it will immediately begin to thicken. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for two to three minutes before stirring in the ricotta, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Adjust salt, pepper and lemon to taste.

6.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour two cups of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Scoop some of artichoke filling inside each cooked shell.  Nest each pasta shell in the sauce, seam up.  Pour remaining sauce over shells. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Then remove the foil and bake it for a final 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley or basil, if desired, and serve immediately.

Like I said, I loved this dish!  It was delicious.

What did you cook this week?

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Danielle said...

Those shells look so good!

SnoWhite said...

I really like artichokes, we should cook with them more than we do. Thanks for this yummy recipe.

Aimee said...

Alissa, that looks amazing. YUM. Thanks for hosting!

judee@ Gluten Free A-Z said...

How fabulous are those artichoke stuffed shells.What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Ott, A said...

Hey, i see we both used artichokes in our recipes this wek. You simply have to come link this up to my Iron Chef Challenge this week as the themed ingredient is artichokes and the winning recipe will get a case of artichokes delivered to their door. http://www.alattewithotta.com/2011/10/octobers-iron-chef-challenge-themed.html

Miz Helen said...

Your Shells look awesome! Thanks for hosting and hope you are having a wonderful week!
Miz Helen

June Scott said...

I don't even have to read past the title of this recipe - I know I will love it! Thanks for hosting!

Tashia said...

It looks delicious! I'll definitely be trying this one! Thanks!

Carrie @ My Favorite Finds said...

Yum. I think you could possibly freeze these, too. What do you think?

natasha {schue love} said...

Oh yum...love anything with spinach an artichoke...looks amazing!

Becca said...

Oh my goodness, these look amazing! I am pinning this recipe so I can make it in the future. Thanks!

Ashley said...

yum, looks delish!

Claire said...

your recipe looks amazing! i am a sucker for artichokes

Mindy said...

You would think I'd know better by now not to come over here when I'm hungry. Good lord woman, these look amazing!!! Definitely will be making these in the near future!

Raina said...

Your shells look amazing! Thanks for sharing them. I bookmarked them. Thanks for the link up:)

Meg {henninglove} said...

i will be making this for sure!! i love shells and need to change up the ingredients i usually put inside the shells

Manuela said...

Yummy! I love artichokes ever since I went to Rome!


novac said...

This dish is great, i would like to try.

Natalie said...

Congrats on being Blogger's Blog of Note! I'm glad I was led here... you have such a beautiful blog. These stuffed shells look divine!

Barbies4Sale! said...

Congratulations on your "Blog of Note" award!

from Barbie & Ken Doll

Barbies4Sale! said...

Tweeted, Retweeted, Following U. @Barbies4Sale


Marguerite said...

Looks really scrumptious and I can't wait to try it! Thanks for the great recipe and for hosting!

Stephanie said...

Oh my word, I want to try this right now.

Harpreet singh sasan said...

ahahaha super,

Khalid Sulaiman said...

visit www.endeavortosupremacy.blogspot.com for an interesting book.

rosun said...

My knowledge on pasta is very limited. Which type/brand or pasta is readily available in the market? I want to try making pasta and need your help in selecting the right pasta to start with.

Kathy Robbins said...

This is my first visit to your site. Very interesting place! Very creative ideas!

Beth Dunn said...

Your post instantly made me hungry! Yummy

Rene said...

Pinning this one! Looks too good to forget.

Cliff said...

What a very enticing and delicious looking dish! I can't wait to hand this recipe over my mom. I'm pretty sure she can nail it as much as you did! Thanks for the share!

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