Shells with Crispy Pancetta and Spinach

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the Shells

340g jumbo shells pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
230g thick-cut pancetta, cut into 2-cm cubes
230g frozen spinach, thawed and drained
420g whole milk ricotta
90g grated asiago cheese
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

For the Sauce

1 tbsp butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
240ml cream
180g grated asiago cheese, plus 20g
15g chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F.

For the shells:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach, ricotta cheese, asiago cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Stuff the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture each and place the stuffed shells in a large, buttered baking dish.

For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to very low and add the 2 cups asiago cheese, parsley, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is dissolved. Pour the sauce over the shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup asiago cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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