spinach, tomato and ricotta stuffed shells

prep time:  15 minutes
cook time:  27 minutes
servings:  4

pasta ingredients:
35 whole wheat jumbo pasta shells
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups marinara sauce
1/3 cup parmesan - grated

filling ingredients:
2 cups spinach - drained and chopped
3 small tomatoes - minced
3 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups ricotta
1 egg - lightly beaten
1 small onion - minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme - minced

1.  preheat oven to 350 degrees.  boil water in a large pot and salt it.  add the pasta shells and gently stir.  cook pasta until almost ready, about 15 minutes.  drain pasta and toss with olive oil.  set aside.

2.  pour the marinara sauce in an 8 x 8 baking dish and spread around to form an even coat.  in a blender combine the spinach, tomatoes, garlic, ricotta, egg, onion, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

3.  using a teaspoon, scoop a small amount of filling and stuff into a pasta shell.  place in the baking dish.  repeat until all shells are filled with ricotta mix. 

4.  top with parmesan.  tightly cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  remove the foil and continue to bake for another 5 - 7 minutes, until the parmesan begins to bubble and lightly brown. 

- honest cooking

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