stuffed shell pasta recipe


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Stuffed shell pasta (or conchiglioni) is a favourite in Italian homes for Sunday lunch! Seashell shaped pasta filled with creamy ricotta, tasty spinach and a hint of nutmeg is just the start of this dish…my tip is to use fresh buffalo mozzarella on top to give this baked dish a serious edge. In just 30 minutes you can make this recipe and it will likely be devoured in 3.

Watch How to Make STUFFED SHELL PASTA Video Recipe:

How to Make STUFFED SHELLS PASTA Like an Italian

stuffed shell pasta

Pasta shells/Conchiglione (amount depends on nbr of people – just remember, they grow!)
Mozzarella di buffalo or fior di latte (MUST be fresh)

For the sauce
2-3 garlic cloves
1 bottle homemade/good quality tomato passata
Fresh basil
Salt & Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

For the filling:
400g/14.11oz fresh ricotta
300g/10.58oz baby spinach (fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons grated pecorino/parmigiano cheese
Salt and Pepper
1 egg

1 large pot
1 oven safe shallow oven pot/baking dish
Medium mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Large spoon (for scooping up and spreading the sauce)
Garlic press/masher (if you have one)


  1. Before anything else, add 5L water to a large pot and once it boils add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions less 1min/30seconds.


  1. Shells pasta requires a very simple sauce so put a medium size pot on the stove at a low-medium heat.
  2. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil inside and add 2-3 crushed garlic cloves.
  3. Cook for approx. 2 minutes stirring every so often or until they become shiny and start to golden in colour.
  4. Add a bottle of passata and stir well.
  5. Next add a sprinkle of salt and pepper then mix it through before adding the fresh basil leaves and gently stirring them in.
  6. Let this cook at a simmer for approx. 20 minutes.


  1. Add spinach leaves to a large pan and leave to cook and wilt. This will need to be stirred every few minutes to make sure It all cooks well – you can add a small amount of water too if it helps.
  2. Put all the ricotta in a bowl and break it down using a fork.
  3. Once the spinach is ready (drain any excess water if necessary), add it to the ricotta and mix really well until it is completely combined.
  4. Add a sprinkle (or two) of nutmeg, pecorino cheese and some salt and pepper and mix once again.
  5. Then beat an egg on the side before adding it also and mix combine well.


  1. First up, strain the pasta – remembering to cook it 30 sec or 1 min LESS than the packet instructions!
  2. Preheat your oven to 180°C/356°F and line the baking tray with the tomato sauce you prepared, making sure to be generous!
  3. Using a tablespoon scoop up some of the ricotta mixture and spread it into the open part of the pasta shell until full.
  4. Fill each pasta shell with the mixture and line the pasta around the edges of your tray, working your way in until the tray is completely full.
  5. Add extra sauce on top of the stuffed shells pasta and sprinkle a generous amount of pecorino cheese on top before breaking pieces of the fresh mozzarella using your hands and adding it to the top.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 180°C/356°F for 20 minutes.

stuffed shell with ricotta and spinach

Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes then serve.

If you’re having guests over, you can add a few fresh basil leaves on top as a garnish.

stuffed shell

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!


If you love STUFFED SHELLS you will also love my Nonna CREPES CANNELLONI. Here is the recipe:

Cannelloni Recipe - Cannelloni della Nonna

homemade spinach pasta


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