Welcome to the blog for Colgate University's interdisciplinary course on food. This is the place to keep up with what students in the course are experiencing in their work at Common Thread Community Farm and through their everyday encounters with food.

Friday, December 13, 2013

party secret

My parents have always hosted a ton of parties. They always have their special signature dishes that are only made if we have guests over. Usually because they are more tedious to cook and involve a lot more effort, they are made only when there is a party that week. I asked my dad for the recipe. It is a bit of a secret, but oh well, I wanted to share it.

Spinach-Stuffed Shells
Although small- or medium-size pasta shells are more common in many parts of Italy, here, the jumbo ones are easier to handle when you stuff them in this Florentine-inspired recipe.
Makes 4 servings

6 ounces jumbo pasta shells
1  (10-ounce) box frozen chopped
spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
11/3 cups nonfat ricotta cheese 1/4 pound extra-lean ham, diced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg Freshly ground pepper, to taste
11/ 2 cups tomato sauce (no salt added)
2  tablespoons grated Parmesan

1.   Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with
nonstick spray.
2. Cook the pasta shells according to package directions, Drain and
rinse under cold water,
3. Meanwhile, combine the spinach, ricotta, and ham. Stir in the salt,
nutmeg, and pepper. Spoon the filling into the shells and put them in
the baking dish. Cover with the tomato sauce, then sprinkle with the
Parmesan. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the filling is lightly
browned, about 25 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

D i   G i o r n o      If you prefer, use fresh spinach. After you've cleaned the leaves, put them in a large strainer. When the pasta water comes to a boil but before you add the shells, set the strainer into the boiling water until the spinach wilts. Rinse it under cold water, squeeze out all the excess water, and chop.

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