Shells with Crispy Pancetta and Spinach

TOTAL TIME: 50 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 25 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

SHELLS:
  • 1 (12-ounce) package jumbo shells pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 pounds frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    SAUCE:
    • 2 cups grated asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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    • Print Recipe

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 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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    4

    Newest Ratings and Reviews

    Read all 5 reviews

    • on September 09, 2014

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      Five stars sold me even after I watched the episode in which this recipe was featured. So I'm very disappointed that, after following the recipe faithfully, the result was a dish I won't prepare again - asiago is very strong alone (I'm a chef and LOVE rich foods), so I felt that there wasn't a balance with such a lot of one salty, pungent, fatty cheese - and the cheese sauce broke during the baking, so that my plate was covered with lots of tiny bits of curd.
      Please know that I don't wish to contradict the praises for this dish just to be a contradictor. I made this dish last night for a couple, dear friends, wonderful cooks as well, to come home to after their Hawaii honeymoon. I wish now I'd made something else.

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    • on December 13, 2013

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      I'm a Swede who grew up in an Italian neighborhood. If Mrs. Marzettli could have tasted this dish, she would cry. This is pure Italy and one of the most delicious dishes I have ever eaten.

      I stuck to the recipe and I am thankful I did so. Do yourself a favor and invite friends or family for this most wonderful meal. The smell is lingering in the air and my mouth is still watering 30 minutes after the meal. Enjoy a nice Chianti Classico with this taste of heaven.

      Giada darling, you hit it out of the park on this one. My wife and I thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

      people found this review Helpful.
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    • on September 23, 2012

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      Very good and very rich! I have made this twice,the second time I used shrimp instead of pancetta, it is good both ways!

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