Oh. My. Goodness. I lifted this recipe from Sallys food blog.
I am a HUGE pasta lover and this, my friends was BEYOND delicious.
Sally says, "it take some time to put together, but is totally worth it."
I SO agree, Sally Sue, I SO agree.
12 ounces (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (I only used about half the box, as I like REALLY stuffed shells.)
For the sauce:
3 - 14 oz cans tomatoes in juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
For the stuffing:
1 pound bag of baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups (16oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Cook shells according to package directions but for less time. You want the shells to be tender but firm to the bite, about 6 to 7 minutes. Drain the shells and spread out on a cookie sheet so they don't stick together. Let cool.
For the sauce, pour the tomatoes into a food processor and chop quick. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring for 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juice, basil and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Then simmer very gently, partially covered, until thickened (you still want there to be juice), about 20 minutes. Season with pepper.
Meanwhile, add the spinach and the salt in a skillet. Place over medium heat, cover and cook, tossing every now and then with tongs for even cooking, until wilted, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, let cool and then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Chop and set aside.
In a skillet, add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt with some water and cook. Stir every now and then, until tender and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. (The original recipe tells you to cook it with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, but it's just as yummy cooked in water.)
Add zucchini to the bowl with the spinach. Add the ricotta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, the parsley, pepper and the nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill the cooked shells with the cheese mixture, about 1 Tablespoon per shell. Arrange the shells side by side. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells, and then sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake, at 350 degrees, until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes.
Ohhhh my heck.