One step closer to a pasta machine

Jan is always looking for the next gadget to assist him in making the perfect meal. I, however, am perpetually concerned about the increasing amount of small, countertop kitchen appliances we accumulate in our linen closet/overflow pantry. It’s not exactly a good combination. It’s the same battle we experience with the condiments (An abundance of condiments, May 2010), but on a larger scale, as appliances are a bigger investment, both in money and space.

I hate being a spoil-sport who always says no, but regardless of what Jan will tell you, I do compromise. I still don’t think we need a pizza oven or a Margaritaville triple Frozen Concoction Maker. But, I’ll admit that the immersion blender is definitely a keeper as is the Williams-Sonoma Vegetable Chop & Measure we’ve recently been using to make quick and easy Pico de Gallo.

We recently made stuffed pasta shells and I realized, in making this meal, we were getting dangerously close to another kitchen gadget I have been putting off — the dreaded pasta maker. After the success of the stuffed shells, Jan’s thinking big: ravioli, tortellini, and–I know it’s coming. But, as we’ve yet to try the ravioli or tortellini with prepared dough, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Stuffed pasta shells

print recipe

  • 1 23 oz. container of ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 egg
  • Shredded mozarella or Italian-blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Homemade or jar of favorite pasta sauce
Stuffing shells with cheese mixture


  • Boil the shells according to package directions, about 4-5 shells per serving
  • While the pasta is cooking, wash the spinach and chop roughly
  • Saute spinach in a pan with olive oil until just wilted
  • In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, egg, parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper
  • After draining pasta shells, stuff them with the cheese mixture and place in a baking dish filled about 1/4 inch high with pasta sauce
  • Cover shells with the remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle with mozarella or Italian-blend cheese
  • Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes, until cheese is beginning to set
Ready to eat

5 thoughts on “One step closer to a pasta machine

  1. It’s not that I want to enable Jan ;-), but I have a pasta machine (a simple manual one that attaches to your table top with a clamp) and it is one of my favorite appliances. There’s nothing like homemade pasta, though it is a lot of work!

  2. I just had my first pasta machine experience and it’s on my list, too. Those stuffed shells look like a necessary experience for me. Anna – the website is amazing! xoxo

  3. Some friends have just promised us their old pasta maker (they just got a new one to go onto their Kitchen Aid), so it looks like we’ll be testing it out soon

  4. This post just really tickled my funny bone. I imagined this growing pile of gadgets that loomed over you when you opened the door to the pantry or the linen cupboard, and then the abject horror when you woke up one day to see that you no longer had any counter space…that it was taken over by little propagating kitchen tools…Run for your life!!

    1. Haha, that is my exact worry! After writing this post, I actually went through that closet and there were a few casualties, including a rotisserie that had to go.

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