Don’t know about you, but winter screams comfort food in this KiA house, and here’s an easy [cheesy] dinner that we make ahead of time to pop in the oven after sport and it’s sooooo warming and yum. Plus it’s easy enough for the kids to help make and that’s always a win.

We started making this because we have found spinach one of the easiest things to grow in our garden. Note, you can halve the spinach if you don’t think your kids will be keen. You can also use frozen if it’s more convenient.

What you will need:

20 ish large pasta shells

400g ricotta

1 cup grated mozerella

1/2 c grated parmesan

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2-4 packed cups spinach (chopped and washed)

8 basil leaves (roughly torn or chopped)

1 large egg

1 t sugar (any kind)

1 tin of crushed tomatoes OR 400g pasata

salt and pepper

Make it and bake it:

Cook your large shells in a big pot of salted water and set aside (stir a drizzle of olive oil to prevent them sticking together)

Preheat oven to 180oC

Add olive oil to fry pan, medium heat, add crushed garlic until aromatic, add spinach until half wilted. Stir. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl stir all all of the cheeses, egg, salt, pepper, half of your basil until combined.

Add the other half of your basil to a can of crushed tomatoes plus your sugar and salt and pepper to taste.

Use 1/4 of the tomato mix to coat the bottom of a medium baking dish.

Spoon big dessert spoonfuls of the cheese and spinach mixture into shells and place them into the baking dish.

Pour remaining tomato over the shells / bakiing dish

Top with a handful of cheese of your choice and cover with foil.

Bake at 180oC for 20 mins. Remove foil and bake a further 15 mins.

Sprinkle with Parmesan and basil leaves to serve.

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