I made this for dinner tonight, and it was a hit! Easy to make, too, which is always a bonus in my book.
Here is the recipe (from "Favorites" cookbook):
32 jumbo pasta shells
2 (10 ounce) packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups bottled marinara sauce
Cook pasta shells, drain well and set aside. Squeeze spinach dry and put in large bowl. Add ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmesan, fennel, basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir to blend. Spoon 1/2 cup marinara suace evenly over bottom of 9" x 13" glass baking dish. Place shells, filling side up, in the dish. Spoon remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
*I left out the fennel (YUCK) and only used 1 package of spinach. Next time I make it, I might only use 1 or 2 cloves of garlic -- I thought 3 made it a little too strong.
While I made dinner, I had the kids play with homemade play dough (this batch has lasted for MONTHS) -- I'm sure you can see Scarlett eating some.....
Since their attention span is about 30 seconds and dinner took longer than that to assemble, I also had the kids decorate some paper that we will use to make Valentine's tomorrow. After those 30 seconds were up, I turned on the TV. (And I remembered why I usually make dinner in the middle of the day while Scarlett is napping.)