Monday, March 17, 2014

Ricotta stuffed shells

Everywhere I looked last week, recipes for stuffed shells kept popping up. I took it as a sign and decided to try out this recipe. I don't often make pasta so my husband was pretty excited for a change. Plus with my half marathon training schedule in full gear, I was excited to try this as well.

I served this alongside an arugula salad and our favorite vinho verde since it was 70 degrees that evening. This meal would make an excellent meatless Monday dinner. You could also double the recipe and freeze half for later.

Ricotta stuffed shells
Adapted from Fork Knife Swoon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion diced
1/4 tsp salt
1-28 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1-14 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp red wine

20-25 jumbo pasta shells

3/4 c part-skim ricotta
1 c shredded mozzarella
1/4 c shredded parmesan
1 organic egg
1/4 c minced basil
1/4 c minced arugula
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat olive oil over low-to-medium heat. Add the onion, cooking until transparent and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and oregano. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add a splash of red wine and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt to the water, then add the shells. Cook for 12-15 minutes until al dente. Remove from heat, strain, and rinse pasta with cold water to stop from cooking further. Set aside.

While the noodles are cooking, make your ricotta mixture. Mix the remaining ingredients together into a large bowl.

Ladle half of the tomato sauce into a large 9x13 in. casserole dish. Pick up a jumbo shell,  fill with about a tablespoon of ricotta mixture, close the shell and set down into the pasta sauce. Repeat until the dish is full or you run out of filling. Ladle the remaining tomato sauce over all of the shells. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly before eating. Garnish with parsley and serve with an arugula salad.

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