Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shells, shells, shells

I married an Italian. When we first started dating, he told me about the way his late grandmother would cook, and how it was some of the best food he's ever had.
Now I'm no Mary, but he told me that my cooking is top notch. I think he's just delusional, but I'll take the compliment.
I'm always playing around with my recipes, trying to improve this, change that...and I finally found the perfect way to make stuffed shells! This makes me super excited. Here's how I made it:

(First, the sauce. I used my Mom's recipe, however, instead of roasting the tomatoes, I steamed them. Either way is delicious.)

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta Sauce

2 pounds Roma or plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
6 peeled garlic cloves
1 T fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 T fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 cup of crushed tomatoes
½ tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil and oregano (or 1 tsp of Italian seasonings)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Spray veggies lightly with non-stick spray. Roast for 20 minutes. Flip the vegetables and roast for another 20-25 minutes or until they start to brown. Scrape everything into a food processor fitted with the chopping blade and process until pureed.

Pour contents into a large saucepan. Add vinegar, tomato paste, salt and basil. Simmer for at least 30 minutes to an hour, depending on richness of flavor desired.

Shell Filling:
16 oz low fat small curd cottage cheese
16 oz low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I used Oikos)
2 cups grated italian cheese (I used kraft, it has 4 different kinds of cheeses)
1 cup sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese (I like extra sharp for that extra zip)
garlic powder (I just dump it in.)
grated parmesan cheese (again, I just dump it in.)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then put into jumbo shell. (I boil the shells until it's soft, but still firm. Approximately 10-12 minutes.) Place into greased baking dish, cover with sauce. Cook for 45 minutes at 350.



Bachelor Girl said...

Oh my GAWD. This makes my mouth water!

Cassie said...

It's delish. You should partake!