Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Cheesy Stuffed Shells
Author: Melissa d’Arabian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 to 6
“I love finding creative ways to make my recipes as healthy as possible, adding in a smidge of extra fiber, protein or veggies; everyone in my family benefits from the extra nutrition,” says the Ten Dollar Dinners star. “But any ‘sneaked’ vegetables don’t really ‘count’ toward helping my children learn to love healthy foods.” Melissa packs grated veggies into these family-friendly stuffed shells.
Ingredients
  • [b]For the Sauce:[/b]
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • [b]For the Shells:[/b]
  • 1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
  • 8 ounces silken tofu, mashed
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, zucchini, onion and celery and saute until soft but not brown, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the basil, oregano, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the shells: Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes; drain. Mix the tofu, spinach, cottage cheese, parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, the egg and garlic in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread about 1 cup of the sauce in the dish. Stuff the cheese mixture into the shells and place in the baking dish, open-side up. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
  4. Read more at: [url href=”http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/cheesy-stuffed-shells-recipe/index.html” target=”_blank”]The food network[/url]