Baked Shells with Fresh Spinach and Pancetta

Baked Shells with Fresh Spinach and Pancetta

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 3 Tbs. butter

  • 1½ cups heavy cream

  • 6 Tbs. tomato puree

  • 6 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ lb. pancetta or prosciutto, cut into small dice

  • ¾ lb. fresh spinach, stems removed, leaves washed and torn

  • ¾ lb. medium pasta shells


In a medium saucepan, bring 2 Tbs. of the butter, heavy cream, tomato puree to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 Tbs. of the parmesan, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. In a large frying pan, melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and cook the pancetta, if using, over moderately high heat until slightly crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach, in batches, and cook, tossing until wilted. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Heat the oven to 350. Butter a 2 qt. shallow baking dish. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the shells, until almost tender. Drain. Combine the tomato sauce, spinach, prosciutto, if using, and shells. Transfer to baking dish and top with the remaining 3 Tbs. parmesan. Bake until very hot, 15 to 20 minutes.


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