Monday, May 10, 2010

Springtime Shells

This delightful dish comes to us from the Pioneer Woman. I've drooled over her site for quite some time, but this is the first recipe I've made. If this is any indication, the rest are worth trying as well!

I love that this dish incorporates lots of spring vegetables and includes a cheesy sauce.

Start by putting a large pot of water on to boil, then adding the pasta when the water is boiling. Cook the pasta to very al dente - you want it still to have a bit of bite because it will cook more in the oven later.

Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables - cut the zucchini into quarters lengthwise and then into chunks crosswise.

Snap off the tough part of the asparagus and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Cut the broccoli florets into bite sized chunks and slice the green onions, then melt the butter along with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

When it's all melted, add the minced garlic and the green onion.

Add the asparagus and cook and stir for 4-5 minutes.

Season to taste with salt, then add the broccoli and cook for another minute.

Add the zucchini and cook for one to two more minutes,

then add the frozen peas and mix well just so they begin to thaw a bit. Set the vegetables aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and eggs and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. When the pasta is done, drain it, rinse it and drain it again. Layer half the pasta in a 9x13 or 2-3 quart baking dish, and top with half the ricotta mixture.

Spread out the ricotta cheese, then top with 1/3 of the parmesan

and half of the vegetables.

Top with the rest of the pasta, the remaining ricotta, another 1/3 of the parmesan, and the rest of the vegetables. Finally, top with the remaining 1/3 of the parmesan,

and drizzle some olive oil over the top.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until hot throughout.

Get more ideas at Mouthwatering Mondays, the Krazy Kitchen, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday , Tuesdays at the Table and Fabulous Food Friday.

Springtime Shells

16 oz. medium shell pasta
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 Inch Pieces
1/2 lb. broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 pounds zucchini (about 1 medium), diced
1/2 cup frozen pea
3 green onions sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
20 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until it still has quite a bit of bite. Drain and rinse, then drain again.

Meanwhile, melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for five minutes. Salt to taste, then add the broccoli and cook for one minute, then the zucchini. Cook for one or two more minutes; add the frozen peas, then turn off the heat. Stir well then set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, salt, and pepper to taste until well combined.

Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Add half the pasta, then spread half of the ricotta mixture over the surface. Sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan over the ricotta, then half of the vegetables. Repeat with the rest of the pasta, the rest of the ricotta, and another 1/3 of the parmesan. End with the rest of the vegetables and the rest of the parmesan.

Drizzle with a couple of teaspoons olive oil, then bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot. Serves 8.


  1. yum, my mouth is watering! thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh wow I would love this, the boys wouldn't but that is fine I would eat it all for myself :).

    Stopping by from TMTT, new follower ;)

  3. I love all those green veggies -- yum!

  4. Great! I have a container of ricotta that I need to use... I can't wait to try this!


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