This blog... a compilation of my favorite recipes. They have been collected over several years found in various places: the internet, magazines, and cookbooks to name a few. These recipes are meals that I consider to "feed more than your body". These are meals that I hope nurish the heart and soul of those who eat them. I hope that when you have cleaned your plate, you feel like you have taken part in more than just a meal-that you have taken part in something bigger than yourself and food. Whether it is culture, your local place of living, or the life of the plant or those who share this planet, I hope these meals help your family-and mine-to appreciate that we are more than just beings consuming food; we are all connected. And more than that, I hope that these meals help you remember how fortunate you are and that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stuffed Shells

12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (approximately 40 shells)
2 jars tomato sauce**

**If freezing half the recipe, only use one jar of tomato sauce.

For the stuffing
2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and shredded
2 scallions, chopped
2 cups (16 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat, part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch grated nutmeg

Oven at 350. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the shells, and partially cook 6 to 7 minutes — they should have started to become tender but will still be firm to the bite. Drain in a colander, Let cool. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring every now and then, until tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add scallions during the final 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and add spinach. Mix in ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg, and stir to combine.

Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of two** 9-x-13-inch baking dishes. Fill the cooked shells with the cheese mixture, about 1-2 tablespoon per shell, and arrange the shells side by side in a single layer in the prepared dishes. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until the filling is heated through 25 to 30 minutes. Last 5-10 minutes, take out and cover with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

**Note, this recipe makes enough for 2. I recommend making one of the pans a disposable foil pan. Spray it with non-stick spray and fill with shells. Cover with plastic wrap then foil. Carefully (so as not to tip the shells) transfer to the freezer. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge. Uncover foil and plastic wrap. Pour a jar of sauce over shells and recover with foil only. Bake as above.

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