It took me a long time to find these shells. They weren’t at my usual Save On Foods, or at Costco. Didn’t see them at Coopers, Safeway or Bulk Barn. I even searched a little Italian Market downtown and still nothing. Then one day while shopping the Joe Baby clothes at Superstore I thought I’d take a gander over to the pasta aisle and what do you know, they were there. Finally!!
Well worth the hunt though, the shells are so good. I’ve only actually made them one way, but there are so many varieties, and so many I’d like to try. Next time I might do Chicken, Mozzarella and Pesto. Or a Chipolte Butternut Squash or maybe something with Chorizo Sausage. Yum!
This particular recipe is a simple one. Very similar to a classic lasagna, but without all the noodles, so it’s much lighter, and still delicious!.
Cook the pasta till al dente, but make sure they don’t get too soft. Otherwise they’ll be a little too flimsy when working with them and you don’t want them to break apart. Drain and rinse, let cool, but try to work with them while they are still a little wet otherwise the noodles will start to stick together. Then they may end up ripping anyways. Place the first few rows of noodles on their backs, then gradually turn onto an angle as you fill the dish up.
Top the noodles with a simple tomato sauce. I used part tomato sauce, and part crushed tomatoes, then added some extra veggies. Not too thick, just enough to cover the noodles.
One of the best parts of any pasta dish is the cheese. All melted, ooey gooey with crispy brown edges. So good. I used cheddar and Parmesan, but if you don’t have those on hand, mozzarella works great, or even a spicy jalapeno havarti for a little extra kick.
Stuffed Jumbo Shells with Spinach and Cottage Cheese
1 Box Jumbo Shells
1 pkg Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
1 500g Container Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Marble Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Small Red Pepper
About 10 white mushrooms, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
1 Jar Tomato Sauce, or Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Chili Flakes
Salt & Pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add pasta shells. Cook until al dente, not too soft or they’ll fall apart when trying to stuff them. Remove pot from element, drain and rinse pasta. Allow to cool to touch so you can work with them.
Mix together drained spinach, cottage cheese and eggs. Add in 1/2 parmesan cheese and stir together.
Heat a medium saucepan over med-high heat. Add olive oil. Add garlic and onion and cook a few minutes until translucent. Mix in mushrooms, cover and reduce heat to medium and cook 5-10 minutes, or until soft and flavorful. Stir in red pepper and spices. Mix in tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, cover and cook until sauce is heated through.
Heat oven to 350F. In a 9×13 inch dish, spoon sauce in until it just covers the bottom. One by one, fill the pasta shells with cottage cheese mixture, about 2 tbsp. Line shells in dish side by side. Continue until all shells are used up or there is no more space to fill in dish. Pour remaining sauce over pasta shells, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake 30-40 minutes. Remove foil, return to oven and cook until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted and browning, 10-15 minutes
Remove from oven, allow to cool 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and season with salt and pepper.