Stuffed pasta shells

26 Feb

For last Sunday’s charity dinner, we made stuffed pasta shells two ways: non-meat no-mushrooms, and meat (there also were other ingredients).

With one side of the pan going the spinach-artichoke-broccoli-carrot-feta-ricotta route, and the other leaning toward the chicken-peppers-onions-mushrooms-ricotta-mozzarella side, it was a pasta shell extravaganza. The chunky tomato sauce was lifted/adapted from the most recent issue of Esquire.

Read on for the recipes.

Basic chunky tomato sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves smashed garlic

2 28-ounce cans whole, peeled tomatoes (it’s worth it to spend the extra dollar on a nicer brand)

10 basil leaves, torn

salt and pepper

1) Bring the olive oil to medium heat, add the smashed garlic, and let it cook until the garlic sizzles — but doesn’t burn — about 4 minutes.

2) Add the tomatoes (which you’ve smashed with the back of a fork) in two parts, adding the second after the first comes to a simmer.

3) Add torn basil leaves. Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Veggie-stuffed pasta shells

1/2 box jumbo pasta shells, uncooked

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can artichoke quarters, chopped

1/2 bag frozen broccoli and carrots

1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

3 tbsp Greek yogurt

salt, pepper, dried oregano

1) Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta shells, cook until al dente, drain and let cool.

2) In a large pan, bring oil to medium heat, add onion and garlic, and cook for about 7 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, broccoli and carrots, bring to heat. Add spinach, cook until it just starts to wilt, and remove from heat.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the veggie mix with the feta, ricotta and Greek yogurt. Season with salt, pepper and dried oregano.

4) Stuff the cooked pasta shells with about 2 tablespoons of veggie/cheese mix each. Place the stuffed shells in a large pan, top generously with the Basic Tomato Sauce and cheese.

5) Bake in a large pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.



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