Shells with Spinach, Ricotta & Crispy Mushrooms

Shells with Spinach, Ricotta & Crispy Mushrooms
  • 4Servings


  • 4 shallots-peeled, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3/4 pound maitake (hen-of-the- woods) mushrooms, separated into small pieces
  • About 3/4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound spinach, stemmed and chopped
  • About 1/4 tsp.freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound large shells with ridges (conchiglie)
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 egg yolk, or, if you prefer not to eat dishes with raw egg, 1/4 cup light cream


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees . On a baking sheet, toss the shallots and mushrooms with about 3 tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until crispy, 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

In a large skillet, heat the butter with 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium. Add the garlic; cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until the spinach wilts. Reduce the heat to low and cover.

Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving the starchy cooking water.

Place the ricotta in a serving bowl. In a small bowl, temper the egg by whisking the yolk while gradually streaming in a ladleful of hot pasta water. (This will gently cook the yolk and make the sauce creamy.) Stir the egg into the ricotta. (If using cream, stir the cream and 1/2 cup starchy cooking water into the ricotta.) Toss with the spinach mixture and pasta; season.

Divide the pasta among bowls; top with mushrooms.