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Stuffed Pasta Shells

Stuffed Pasta Shells

This is a dish that my family enjoys. The same filling can also be used for manicotti shells if you want to change the presentation. If you don’t have time to make marinara sauce from scratch, use your favorite store brand. I encourage you to try my spaghetti sauce recipes -- you will be amazed at how simple they are! My advice, though, is to find one with as little added sugar as possible and to avoid high fructose corn syrup. Those can be too sweet for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 box large pasta shells
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese (the small container is almost 1 pound and will work)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (replace with your favorite store brand, if you like)

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta shells in a large pot of water with 2 teaspoons sea salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Cook them for one minute less than the directions indicate so that they will not be too soft.
  3. Drain them and allow them to cool slightly so that you can handle them.
  4. In the mean time, mix together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, egg, and parsley in a bowl.
  5. When shells have cooled enough, put about 2 tablespoons of filling into each shell.
  6. Place shells, open side up, in a 9x13 glass baking dish that has been lightly brushed or sprayed with olive oil.
  7. When all of the shells have been filled, pour marinara sauce evenly over the filled shells and sprinkle the remaining cup of shredded mozzarella cheese over that.
  8. Cover the pan with aluminum foil (also sprayed with a little olive oil so that the cheese doesn’t stick to it) and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  9. Remove foil from the pan and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the cheese has browned slightly.
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