Stuffed Conchiglioni with Spinach and Feta

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If there is one thing that I love in this world, is pasta! Any type, any kind…no prejudice here! I love cooking pasta at home, and for my luck, so does Rafael….we make an awesome pasta duo! hahahaha. I already told before that when I was a teenager I used to spend my Saturdays helping my beloved aunt to cook pasta. She would mix the ingredients in a bowl and I worked the dough, then she opened the dough using a pasta maker and cut it in the right size to make lasagna, cannelloni and rondelli, and after that I would cook the dough and sometimes help to make the dish. But with conchiglioni it was different, it’s not an easy type of pasta to make, so my cousin would buy it ready and you just needed to cook it and then stuff it. I usually did the stuffing part, with a delicious combination of three cheeses, that I never resisted to…so I would stuff a little and eat a little…hahhahahha

Let’s get on with this recipe!

Rafael and I both eat a lot, so I’m gonna say that it serves 2, but maybe it can serve three people…ha!

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For this type of stuffing, I prefer it with béchamel sauce, but if you don’t like it, you can use regular tomato sauce.

Béchamel Sauce:

3 tbsp. butter

600 ml whole milk (room temperature)

2 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Stuffing:

1 kilo spinach (it may seem a lot, but trust me it isn’t 😉 )

1/2 onion diced small

1/2 cup grated parmesan

75 gr crumbled feta

2 tbsp. creme fraiche (which I forgot to put in the picture…duh!)

1 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

I always like to start with the spinach, because it needs time to cool down. You will need to bring a big pan of water to simmer, put all the spinach in the boiling water and let it cook for 3 -4 minutes, then draine it in a strainer. You can do this twice if your pot isn’t big enough, just use a skimmer to take out the first cooked spinach, thus you will not have to boil water again. Usually after I put the spinach in the strainer, I give it a little wash with cold water, so it can cool down faster.

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While you wait the spinach to cool down, it’s time for the sauce. Grab a medium sauce pan and heat it on the stove medium-low. Put the three tablespoons of butter and let it melt, as soon as it does, pour the milk slowly…always stirring! It’s time to add the flour, this is a tricky part, you have to put it slowly and in small parts, so that the sauce doesn’t get lumpy (but if it does, you can blend it after it’s done). Do not stop stirring slowly for about 10 minutes, when it seems to be getting thick, add the grated nutmeg and stir for about 2-3 minutes more, then turn it off. This is my favourite part, I love the fresh smell of nutmeg in the sauce 🙂

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Your spinach probably is cooled down at this point, you will have to grab a hand full of spinach and press it with both hands so all of the water will come out, then place the “dumplings” onto a cutting board, you’ll have to repeat this several times. With a sharp knife, thinly cut the spinach dumplings and reserve. Bring a big pot with 3/4 of water to boil for the conchiglioni.

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Place a medium skillet onto the stove, heat it medium high and drizzle the olive oil. Put the diced onion and let cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach, use salt and pepper to taste and let it cook for about 2 minutes, stirring in between. Add the parmesan and feta, and stir. Last but not least, add the creme fraiche, stir for two more minutes then your stuffing is done and ready to cool down.

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Your pot of water must be boiling by now, drizzle a little olive oil and cook your conchiglioni! The one that I bought was written that I should cook it for 18 minutes, but you shouldn’t keep it that long, because you will still have to place it in the oven. I cooked it for 9 minutes and some of them were already breaking, I don’t know why. Also, I didn’t use the whole package (500 gr.) I measured the quantity based on my glass pan, as you can see below. Pre heat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius.

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After your conchiglioni is cooked, let it cool down for a bit, then start stuffing! I always put sauce underneath, so that it won’t stick and also because….the more, the better!  There’s not a rule for stuffing, just put how much you want in each conchiglioni, we like big stuffed ones as you can see…yummy! 😀

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Once your pan is filled with all the conchiglioni, pour the sauce as much as you want, and sprinkle some fresh grated parmesan.

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It’s time to place it in the oven! I usually leave it in there until the sauce starts to bubble a little bit, I think that takes about 10 – 15 minutes.

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Just lovely! ❤

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Time to eat! I like to eat it with a green leafy salad and a glass of red wine by my side, but feel free to be creative 🙂

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 😉

xx

 

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