Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cheese Stuffed Shells

This is a great recipe, which I believe is from my mother-in-law. This is a family favorite. Come on, who doesn't love pasta, sauce, and lots of cheese! You can't go wrong!

Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
16 extra large shells
1 c part skim ricotta
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
black pepper and salt
1 can tomatoes, chopped with juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 egg white

Heat oven to 375.

Heat olive oil in a heavy sauce pan on medium heat. Add onion, basil, oregano, bay leaf, half the garlic, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Cook uncovered until onion is soft (about 5 min). Remove 2 tbsp if the onion mixture and set aside. Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes and tomatoes past. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes. 

Cook pasta shells, drain and rinse with cold water.

For the filling combine 1/4 c Parmesan with ricotta cheese, nutmeg, egg white, the remaining garlic, red pepper, and the reserved onion mixture. Set aside. Take the tomato mixture and spoon half the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking [an, and take the cheese mixture and spoon 3 tsp into each shell. Top with remaining tomatoes mixture. Bake for 25 min covered with foil. Uncover and top with remaining Parmesan and bake for 5 min longer.

Like lasagna, this can be made, and then frozen before baking. When ready, let defrost and bake as directed!

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