Veggie recipe for cold weather comfort food

As the cold weather slowly creeps in, we all start to crave hearty comfort food to warm the insides. Gooey, cheesy pasta fits the bill pretty nicely. So, to honour what’s left of Vegetarian Awareness month, here is a meatless stuffed shells recipe courtesy of planetforward.ca.

For the adults reading this, pair it with a Canadian red wine from a LEED-certified winery, like those from Stratus. Yum!

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ingredients

  • 1 package (300 g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
  • 1 container (500 g) ricotta cheese (substitute the low-fat variety, if you like)
  • 1-cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided in half
  • 1/2-cup parmesan cheese (divided in half)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 20 jumbo pasta shells (or cannelloni/manicotti pasta) cooked al dente, drained and cooled
  • 3-4 cups tomato pasta sauce (extra yummy if you use your own homemade sauce)

 

Instructions:

Heat oven to 400°F.

Mix spinach, ricotta cheese, 1/2-cup mozzarella, 1/4-cup parmesan cheese, peppers, egg, garlic, oregano and salt/pepper until well blended.

Spoon mixture into shells, adding about 1 heaping tablespoon to each shell. Spread half the tomato sauce onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish.

Arrange shells, filled-sides up, in baking dish; top with sauce and remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Cover with foil.  Save some sauce for serving.

Bake 40 min. or until heated through, removing foil after 30 min to allow cheese to melt and brown.