Prosciutto and Spinach Stuffed Shells

When it comes to dried pasta, I have to confess, I am sometimes attracted to particular pastas for very superficial reasons. I won’t beat around the bush – pasta is pretty, don’t you think? I find myself drawn to certain pastas because of their shape or their color, and how could you not? The artisanal pastas on the grocer’s shelves are little works of art: delicate, perfectly formed, and with elegant lines. So I buy them. I may not have a plan for my little treasures when it goes into my basket, but that kind of thing works itself out eventually.

I opened my cupboard one afternoon to find myself staring at these lovely conchiglioni. And then I hoped that I had some ricotta cheese in the refrigerator. There was a split second of regret as my handful of pasta hovered over the rolling boil. These shells are too lovely to cook, what a pity! But that lasted all of a flash. I was on to better (gooier) things.

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Prosciutto and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Yield: Serves 4-6.


  • 12 ounces jumbo shells pasta
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced and finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shred


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter your baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package's directions, about 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap, cook the spinach in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Chop the spinach. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped spinach, prosciutto, ricotta, egg, parmesan cheese, and pepper.

Pour marinara sauce into baking dish. Fill the pasta shells with about 1-2 tablespoons of the prosciutto, spinach and ricotta mixture and arrange in the dish. Sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top of the dish is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' Shells with Crispy Pancetta and Spinach and Lasagna Rolls.

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by Liren Baker on October 18, 2011

24 Responses to “Prosciutto and Spinach Stuffed Shells”

  1. Nelly Rodriguez October 18, 2011 @ 5:35 am (#

    Oh this looks delicious! Love stuffed shells, specially when they contain some sort of pork product!

  2. The Cilantropist October 18, 2011 @ 7:23 am (#

    This is just as beautiful cooked, but I do completely agree with you – I too get attached to gorgeous pasta! In fact, I used to completely ‘hate’ spaghetti because it was so plain, ha! A lovely dish Liren, and perfect for cool days of fall.

  3. Steph@stephsbitebybite October 18, 2011 @ 9:27 am (#

    Gorgeous photos! I could go for a big bowl of this right now!

  4. Belinda @zomppa October 18, 2011 @ 1:23 pm (#

    I don’t think you’re silly at all! I love shapes of pastas, too, and I totally would if mine looked remotely like yours!

  5. Juls October 18, 2011 @ 1:27 pm (#

    Haha! I do the same thing – thinking some things are too pretty to cook or eat! And, I must say, your photo is this pasta dish is particularly fetching.

  6. Kathy Murphy October 18, 2011 @ 1:36 pm (#

    that looks so good …. if I could only sink my fork into it. Great way to use spinach in the kitchen. thank you.

  7. Veronica October 18, 2011 @ 1:39 pm (#

    Yum! Must try this!

  8. rebecca October 18, 2011 @ 1:41 pm (#

    lovely recipe

  9. Sandi G October 18, 2011 @ 2:18 pm (#

    Giada would be proud ;)

  10. Sea Cuisine October 18, 2011 @ 2:49 pm (#

    These stuffed shells look like we could fork them up through the screen! What an amazing-looking dish! And adding a bit of protein would make this an easy fish recipe, adapting Giada’s dish a little more with some parmesan crusted tilapia.

  11. Megan October 18, 2011 @ 2:59 pm (#

    These look amazing! I love the inclusion of prosciutto–usually in these types or recipes it’s either Italian sausage or no meat at all. This seems super elegant!

  12. skip to malou October 18, 2011 @ 4:03 pm (#

    your rendition is just beautiful. is that fork for me? YUM!

  13. Tracey@Tangled Noodle October 18, 2011 @ 5:25 pm (#

    Hehe! No such hesitation for me – as pretty as pasta may be, it’s even prettier when put together in a lovely meal such as this. 8-)

  14. Ann October 18, 2011 @ 10:10 pm (#

    A stunning, delicious dish…and yes! Pasta IS pretty! Buzzed this pretty dish!

  15. Norma October 19, 2011 @ 11:08 am (#

    Nice fall dish and the addition of the ham is a reat idea.

  16. Kita October 20, 2011 @ 6:26 am (#

    Only you could make stuffed shells look so perfect! These sound wonderful with all that spinach (an ingredient that gets no complaints in this house! win!)

  17. Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids October 20, 2011 @ 2:30 pm (#

    Beautiful and delicious. I cannot wait to try it! I am definitely adding it to the menu for next month on Pasta Day.

  18. Jennifer (Delicieux) October 20, 2011 @ 9:17 pm (#

    I think pasta is pretty too :D I love the look of your stuffed shells. Believe it or not I’ve never had stuffed shells before, but now you have be craving this. It looks so comforting. Yum!

  19. Roxana GreenGirl October 21, 2011 @ 10:30 am (#

    I saw a show when Giada was making these stuffed shells. Yours are 10x prettier. Wish I had some ricotta in the fridge …

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  21. Stephanie October 24, 2011 @ 2:22 pm (#

    Recipes like this make me wish over and over again that the husband actually liked ricotta cheese. These shells look just amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Dixie Caviar November 2, 2011 @ 11:54 am (#

    Found your blog through Pinterest; everything looks delicious! These stuffed shells are going to have to be dinner soon. Thanks for sharing…

  23. Laura (Tutti Dolci) February 2, 2013 @ 3:24 pm (#

    I don’t know how I missed these shells but they look too gooey-good not to try! :)

  24. Pingback: Spinach Stuffed Shells | The Adapted Life

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