|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
These large stuffed pasta shells are filled with a combination of ricotta and Parmesan cheese. The shells are Baked with a flavorful homemade tomato sauce and a mozzarella cheese topping. The garlic bread is the perfect finishing touch, making this a complete meal.
For a bigger meal, add a tossed green salad or Greek salad.
- 2 dozen large pasta shells
- 24 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Garlic Bread
- 1 loaf crusty bread, such as ciabatta or Italian bread
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped and then mashed to a paste-like consistency
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Cook the pasta shells in boiling salted water, following package directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, and egg; mix until well blended.
Heat the oven to 375 F.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add onion and saute until tender and golden in color. Add the 2 cloves of crushed garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, and basil; mix well and bring to a boil. Reserve 1 cup of sauce. Pour remaining sauce into a 9x13x2-inch baking dish.
Carefully spoon cheese mixture into shells; arrange shells, opening side up, in tomato sauce in the pan. Pour reserved sauce over shells.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Return stuffed shells to oven along with the garlic bread (see below); bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
For the Garlic Bread
Cut the bread in half lengthwise.
In a bowl, combine the softened butter with the 3 cloves of mashed garlic, garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley.
Spread the butter mixture over the cut sides of the bread and place it in a baking pan (a pan that will fit in the oven alongside the pasta pan).
Put the pan in the oven along with the shells for the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking time. If desired, broil the bread for a minute or two after you take the stuffed shells out of the oven.