BAKED PASTA SHELLS
Makes 4 servings
• 1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
• 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
• 8 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced-Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded and divided
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 16 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 16 large dried pasta shells
• 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
• Fresh basil leaves (garnish)
1. Place ricotta and cream cheese in a bowl and mash together. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese, egg, chopped basil and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400º F.
3. In large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, or barely tender. Drain well, making sure to empty shells of any remaining water; set aside to cool briefly.
4. Spread about 1/2 cup marinara sauce over bottom of large baking dish. Spoon ricotta mixture evenly into shells and arrange in dish. Pour remaining sauce over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover dish, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil.
For Best Results or To make even healthier:
- use reduced sodium marinara sauce
- use whole wheat or multi-grain pasta
- use fresh garlic and herbs instead of jarred or powdered
- use fat free cottage cheese instead of ricotta to give a different texture
- use fat free cream cheese to reduce fat
Calories 396 , Total Fat 13g , Saturated Fat 6g , Sodium 383mg , Carbohydrates 42g , Dietary Fiber 5g , Protein 28g , Calcium 550mg
Recipe & photo from Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Based on recipe courtesy of chef Jon Ashton