Seriously beautiful weather here in Ohio! It was over 70 degrees again today. As much as I wanted to grill out, my dinner plan was a little different for this evening. I found a wonderful recipe for stuffed shells in the cookbook “Cook Yourself Thin”. It is a delicious way to get your veggies in! I made a couple of changes to the original recipe. If you would like to make my version of stuffed shells…
Here’s what you need…
1 box of jumbo shell pasta (box of roughly 40 shells)
2 cups of part skim ricotta ( it may say light, but don’t get the fat-free because you need a little fat for flavor)
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
2 medium zucchini, cut in half and sliced thinly ( they will look like half moons)
1- 16 oz bag of organic baby spinach
basil (I used a tsp of dried because that is what I had on hand but you can also use 1-2 tablespoon of fresh)
3 cloves of garlic
3-4 rounds of Canadian bacon
small onion, diced
1- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Here’s what you do…
Boil half the box of shells (about 20) for 6-7 minutes so that they are partially cooked. Drain and spread out on a greased sheet pan to cool. In a large sauce pan heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat and add the onion cook for 1 minutes to soften and then add the garlic. Cook until softened but not browned. Add the cans of crushed and diced tomato, basil, 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper. Simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, place the 16 oz bag of spinach and 1/4 tsp of salt over medium heat. Cover and steam until wilted. Drain and squeeze out all the water from the spinach, chop. Set aside in a bowl. In the same saute pan, put 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and cook the sliced zucchini with 1/4 tsp of salt. Cook over medium heat until softened and lightly browned about 7-8 minutes. In the last-minute, add in the scallion. Add the zucchini into the bowl with the spinach and 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, ham, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix together. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a 9×13 baking dish, spoon a light layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of the pan. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into each shell and place in a single layer into the dish. Top with the rest of the sauce (or as much as you like, I didn’t use all of it) and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozz cheese and 1/4 cup of grated parm.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. So delicious you forget you are eating something healthy!
Go and Create!