Stuffed Pasta Shells

An easy dish to make but so, so good and fairly healthy for you. The four main ingredients include pasta, cheese, spinach and sauce. It’s a simple meal that will also impress. Hope someone out there tries it. I would love to hear from you.


1 box Jumbo pasta shells

2, 500g Ricotta cheese

3/4 cup spinach, drain if frozenECFA17BB-6D32-4AC3-9E59-FB1029CA24D6

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 cups or so Mozzarella cheese, be generous

1 jar favourite Tomato sauce

Black pepper to taste

Dry Basil to taste

Salt, pinch

Fresh Basil for garnish

Olive oil


  1. Boil large pot of water. Add pinch of salt.
  2. Add large pasta shells to water and cook al dente, approx. 15 min.
  3. Drain pasta and add a touch of olive oil so pasta does not stick.
  4. While pasta is cooling add Ricotta, parmesan, spinach, pepper and basil to large bowl and mix.
  5. Stuff pasta with cheese mixture, one shell at a time.
  6. Add a bit of sauce to the bottom of a baking dish and then place stuffed shells on bottom in rows, close together.
  7. Top with rest of sauce so pasta is covered.
  8. Add a generous layer of mozzarella cheese and top with pepper and basil.
  9. Cook at 350 degrees C for about 45 minutes or until bubbly. Add fresh 🌿 basil for garnish.

Mangia ! (serves 4-5)619B6BD2-A9A3-4B47-B85A-6A3ECBD05107


Favorite Dish

CA7BD60C-58E0-4738-8D16-5204BB3463DDDo you have a favorite meal? Mine is Pasta & Fagioli. The type of food we are drawn to can hint to our ethnic roots. Now that is not to say that we don’t enjoy foods from other cultures—I love wonton soup and on occasion crave Indian food.  I do, however, find myself drawn to the smells I grew up with as they often remind me of my childhood experiences—like fresh basil or oregano, especially on the top of homemade pizza (hungry yet?). This week I will try and post my daughter’s favorite dish, stuffed pasta shells with ricotta. When I asked her why she loves it so much she said “ It has the perfect blend of cheese and pasta and nothing is more Italian than that”.

🍐Inspire: Make someone their favorite dish when they least expect it.

I would love to hear what you made, why and the reaction.

Continue reading “Favorite Dish”


Nothing says warmth and comfort like chilli. It was not really a dish I grew up with, but one you learn when life gets busy with work and kids and you’re
making an effort to eat healthy. My secret ingredient is hot sauce. Another tip is to have tacos or sloppy joes the next night with the leftovers.


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, lean
  • 2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • Oregano, Basil, Garlic Powder, Hot Sauce, to taste
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can mushrooms/ or fresh, chopped
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp of tomatoe paste
  • 1 can of white kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can of brown beans, drained
  • 1 can of red beans, drained
  • 1 large jar, tomatoe sauce, your favourite
  • Cheddar cheese, to taste
  1. In a large skillet, drizzle in oil and when hot add chopped onion. When onion is tender, add in ground beef and cook for a few minutes until browned. Add spices to taste.
  2. When meat is cooked, remove from heat and drain off excess fat and place temporarily aside. In same skillet add garlic and fry until slightly browned (don’t burn it!). Then add vegetables, including green pepper, mushrooms and corn and cook until softened. To vegetables, add stewed tomatoes and paste, mix and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. In a large pot, add in cooked ground beef and cooked vegetable mixture. Continue to add the beans and tomatoe sauce and then let simmer on low for approx. 1 hour, stir occasionally. Taste just before serving as you may want to add more spices to your liking, especially the hot sauce if someone in your house is addicted to Sriracha —you know who you are…..
  4. Mix in some grated cheddar cheese and add a bit for garnish if you like.

Mangia!  (Serves 4)


Chicken Noodle, Italian style

Want a twist on a soup classic? Substitute ravioli instead of pasta noodles. Use left over chicken if you have any and it’s that simple. This first recipe is dedicated to my son Daniel who is warm, loving and kind. And didn’t mind eating the spinach I snuck in there!


Cooked chicken (breast, leg pieces bone in)

Fresh or frozen spinach, 2 handfuls (optional)

Salt/pepper to taste

Fresh thyme

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

Baby potatoes, halved (3 or 4 approx)

Chicken broth, 3 cartons

Fresh ravioli/ 1 pkg frozen

In a large pot, combine cooked chicken (remove skin), potatoes, spinach, spices, broth and cook until potatoes are almost tender. Add ravioli directly into broth mixture and cook until al dente. Perfect meal to make if you have chicken roast left overs.

Serves 4 – Mangia!



pexels-photo-568471.jpeg“Food has always been an important part of my life. The dishes my mother prepared for the family were more than just meals. Food was her passion, the way she nourished our bodies and one of the many ways she cared for us”.

InsPEARations is a tribute to Mama Cimino who’s legacy of love moves me forward even on those days when I miss her the most.