Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

inspired by a Cooking Light recipe.

1 pound jumbo shell pasta (about 40 shells)
Cooking Spray
1 (12-ounce) carton low fat cottage cheese
1 (15-ounce) carton ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 cups marinara of your choice
1 1/2 cups shredded mozarella cheese

1.Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.

2.Preheat oven to 375ºF.

3.Coat 2 (9x13-inch) baking dishes with cooking spray; set aside.

4.Combine cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Asiago, Parmesan, garlic, chives, parsley, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and drained spinach. Mix well.

5.Spoon 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into each shell. Put 1 cup of marinara in the bottom of each pan. Arrange half of stuffed shells, seam sides up, in each prepared dish. Pour 3 cups marinara over stuffed shells in both pans. Sprinkle each with 3/4 cup mozarella cheese.

6.Cover with foil. Bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

To freeze unbaked casserole, prepare through step 5. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy duty foil. Stor in freezer up to 6 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Remove foil and plastic wrap. Re-wrap with foil and bake at 375ºF for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the shells are thoroughly heated.

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