From December’s Dinner Box: This festive recipe combines U.A.V. fresh local ricotta and mozzarella with baby spinach and beautiful artichokes from Salento for the daunting task of filling the very large “Caccavelle”, mega-jumbo shells from Fabbrica della Pasta in Gragnano. Top with flavor from Sicilian cherry “pachino” tomatoes and bake in organic tomato purée. For dessert? Panettone, of course.
le 4 Caccavelle jumbo shells
8oz UAV ricotta cheese (whole container)
1 700g jar Contadina tomato purée
1 ball UAV mozzarella cheese, chopped
1 6oz bag baby spinach
1 280g jar artichokes in EVOO with orange, cut into bite size pieces
1 110g jar cherry tomato paté
fresh garlic, minced
fresh parsley, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the artichokes into bite-size pieces and spread on a baking sheet, together with the full contents of their jar, extra virgin olive oil and orange peel. Roast for 15 minutes or until they are slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
Cook shells in salted, boiling water according to package instructions, about 15min. Drain and place on a large plate.
Meanwhile, stir together the ricotta and egg in a bowl. Set aside.
Mince garlic and sauté in olive oil until just soft; add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Add spinach to bowl with ricotta. Stir to combine. Using the same pan, saute the rest of the garlic in olive oil and pour in Contadina tomato purée. Cook and stir enough to combine flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Spoon the ricotta/spinach mixture into the shells, dividing equally. Add the artichokes on top of the cheese. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the cherry tomato paté on top of the artichokes.
In a 9×13 baking dish pour about 2/3 of the tomato purée to cover the bottom. Place stuffed shells in the dish. Cover shells with remaining tomato sauce and top with plenty of mozzarella. Season with black pepper.
Bake covered at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until top browns and sauce bubbles, about another 15-20min. Top with fresh parsley and serve.
Note – this recipe also freezes well. Bake, let cool, and transfer to freezer container. Reheat when ready to eat.
Enjoy a slice of panettone with a glass of Vin Santo or Moscato d’Asti.