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Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells - Vegetarian Feast
Stuffed shells is a quick and easy recipe, and I don’t even pre-cook the pasta. You have about 15 minutes of prep (20 if you make a salad while you have the mess on the counter), throw it in the oven, and in less than an hour and a half you can be feasting on a healthy homemade meal.

I usually make my own marina, but I was in a pinch and pulled a jar from the cupboard, which worked just fine. I read the labels closely to make sure I find a fat-free variety without a lot of added sugar.

1 lb. Whole Wheat medium noodles, dry – I used 40 shells, which is about a pound.
10 large basil leaves
1 sprig of rosemary (1/2 tsp. fresh chopped)
1 tsp. fresh chopped oregano
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
1/16 to 1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/16 to 1/8 tsp onion powder
24 oz. container of lite ricotta
1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
1 25 oz. jar of fat-free spaghetti sauce
1 c. water

Whisk egg and add it to ricotta, chopped herbs and spices. Pour half of the sauce in a bowl and set aside. Add a cup of water to the jar and mix it up. Skip this step if you are going to pre-cook the noodles. The dry pasta soaks up the extra water during baking. I think it is much easier and less messy to assemble the shells when they aren’t cooked. If I get one that is “closed,” I simply crack it apart, fill it with cheese and put the broken pasta piece on top. No one will ever know once you put sauce and cheese the top. Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells and sprinkle the mozzarella on the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on 400˚F for 1 ½ hours or until bubbly. I like to remove the foil for the last 15 minutes or so to make sure the top browns nicely.

I’ve also made this with fresh mozzarella, which makes it even better. Feel free to add some roasted red peppers or fresh bell peppers and onions. My family balks if I do that so I keep this recipe pretty basic. They tolerate the whole wheat pasta since it is all covered with sauce.

Nutrition Information: It makes eight servings. Each serving contains approximately 379 calories, 20 grams of protein, 7.5 grams of fat and 6 grams of fiber. WW Points – 7.

Enjoy!

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