By the time Spring rolls around on the East Coast, we’re longing for bright & vibrant meals. However, often times it’s still freezing cold long into April, so those bright spring flavors need to be served along with a side of comfort. Enter these spring forward stuffed shells bursting with fresh green vegetables and perfectly spiced with Simply Organic Garlic Powder, Lemon Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper and Oregano.
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For the Stuffed Shells
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (10 ounce) bag frozen peas
- 1 (12 ounce) box jumbo pasta shells
- 2 cups ricotta cheese, divided
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 cup packed parsley stems and leaves
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Lemon Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Simply Organic Oregano
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400˚F, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set up an ice bath. Add broccoli rabe and cook for about 3 minutes, or until bright green and stems are tender. Remove broccoli rabe from water, set in an ice bath for 1 minute, then drain thoroughly and finely chop.
Add the peas to the same pot of boiling water and cook until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Drain with a spider strainer and set in an ice bath for one minute. Set aside.
To the same pot, add pasta shells and cook for about 9 minutes, or until al dente.
While the pasta cooks, add ½ cup ricotta, spinach, parsley, garlic powder, lemon pepper, crushed red pepper and oregano to a high speed blender and process until smooth.
Add spinach and ricotta mixture to a large bowl then mix in remaining ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, broccoli rabe and peas. Stir until well combined, then add Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.
When pasta is cooked, drain and let cool slightly. Add 1 ½ cups of the ricotta filling to the bottom of 9 by 13 inch pan and use remaining filling to fill cooked shells. Arrange shells in the pan then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and extra Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes.
While the shells bake, make the pesto by adding all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and processing until smooth.
Serve the cooked shells drizzled with prepared pesto and extra crushed red pepper.