Stuffed Shells With Spicy Tomato Sauce

Stuffed Shells with Spicy Tomato Sauce

A Pound Of Large Shells
Two Pounds Of Ricotta Cheese
A Beaten Egg
Five Minced Garlic Cloves, Divided
A Tablespoon Of Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
Two Whole Italian Parsley Stalks
A Tablespoon Of Chopped Fresh Basil
Two Whole Fresh Basil Stalks
¼ Cup And Two Tablespoons Of Grated Romano Cheese, Divided
Six Ounces Of Frozen Chopped Spinach Thawed And Drained (Note: Squeeze Out As Much Water as Possible)
¼ Teaspoon Of Ground Nutmeg
Fifty Six Ounces Of San Marzano Tomatoes Hand Crushed With The Can Juices
A Finely Diced Serrano Pepper With Seeds But Without The Stem
¼ Cup Of Fine Diced Spanish Onion
A Fresh Marjoram Stalk
A Tablespoon Of Red Wine Vinegar
Two Tablespoons Of Sriracha Chili Sauce
Three Teaspoons Of Sea Salt, Divided
¼ Teaspoon Of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
¼ Teaspoon Of Ground Black Pepper
A Tablespoon Of Olive Oil

Wrap the ricotta cheese in cheesecloth and place it in a colander. Place the colander in a bowl. Refrigerate for two hours. This step allows water to drain from the ricotta cheese making it thicker.

Into a saucepot, add the olive oil, the onion, four of the minced garlic cloves, the serrano pepper, the red pepper flakes, and two teaspoons of the sea salt. Cook on medium high heat for 4 minutes while stirring. Add the red wine vinegar. Continue to cook and stir for three minutes. Add the Sriracha sauce. Continue to cook and stir for one more minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Tie the parsley stalks, the basil stalks, and the marjoram stalk into a bundle with cooking twine. Drop the herb bundle into the pot. Partially cover the pot and simmer the sauce for two hours or longer. After two hours, taste the tomato sauce and add more sea salt and/or red pepper flakes, if desired.

Cook the large shells in a pot of salted, boiling water according to the package instructions. Drain the shells in a colander and let them cool.

Combine the drained ricotta cheese, the egg, a minced garlic clove, the nutmeg, the chopped parsley, the chopped basil, a ¼ cup of the grated cheese, the spinach, a teaspoon of the sea salt, and the black pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Taste and add more sea salt, black pepper, and/or grated cheese, to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place a thin layer of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan. Carefully stuff each shell equally with the ricotta cheese mixture. Place them (open side up) next to one another on top of the tomato sauce in the pan. Spoon a tablespoon   of the tomato sauce over each shell. When all of the shells have been filled and placed in the casserole pan, sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of the grated cheese over the top of them. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Let the shells cool for ten minutes before serving.

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