Spinach and ricotta filled pasta shells: Niki Louca shares her recipe

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Niki Louca from My Greek Kitchen shares her favourite recipe for potato frittata with The Greek Herald. You can follow her on Instagram @mygreekkitchen for more!

This was one of the first recipes Niki learned to cook at a young age. She used her mum’s leftover filling from her spanakopites and added a few more ingredients to complete the filling.  Over the years she has used various fillings – sometimes with leftovers from the night before, such as soutzoukakia or leftover bolognaise from moussaka.

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 packet jumbo pasta shells
  • 400 gm full fat ricotta cheese
  • 600 gm frozen spinach thawed and drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated kefalograviera cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese to scatter over the pasta shells
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:

  • 700ml passata tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Lose handful of basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1.  Cook pasta shells to al dente – as per packet instructions.  It is important not to overcook them as they will continue to cook once in the oven.
  • Once pasta shells are cooked, drain them from the water straight away.  Allow them to cook enough for you to handle and place them in a tray not overlapping each other – as per photo.
  • Prepare you sauce – in a medium size saucepan, drizzle the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic.  Make sure you don’t burn the garlic as this will make it bitter.  Add the passata sauce, oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir and let it reduce to about half – about 25-30 minutes.
  • Whilst the sauce is cooking, prepare your filling.  Mix you ricotta, spinach, seasoning, eggs and cheese (not the mozzarella) – set aside.
  • Fill your pasta shells with the filling and place back in the tray.
  • Take an oven proof baking dish and put of few spoonful’s of the sauce on the base of it, making sure you spread the sauce to cover the base.
  • Transfer the filled pasta shells to the baking dish and apply a spoonful of the sauce on each shell – if there is extra sauce go over each shell and add more making sure its evenly distributed.  Sprinkle the grated mozzarella cheese on each shell.
  • Cover baking tray with foil and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for a further 15-20 minutes till the mozzarella cheese has a golden-brown colour.  Serve hot with a salad of your choice.

Niki Louca runs cooking classes in Melbourne. For more or to book classes visit My Greek Kitchen at www.mygreekkitchen.com.au or Instagram @mygreekkitchen. You can email Niki at: niki@mygreekkitchen.com.au

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