Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jumbo Stuffed Shells

Ever have one of those days when you're in a bad mood for absolutely no legitimate reason?  Seriously, I was in a bad mood for an entire day and for the life of me - I could NOT figure out why.  I think that I actually got even more frustrated as the day when on because I didn't know why I was in such a bad mood.  (Ugggg)

So what do you do to pull yourself out of a bad mood?  For me - the cure for a bad mood is to spend time in the kitchen.  Baking something yummy almost always pulls me out of my funk.  About 4:00 that afternoon, it finally dawned on me that I hadn't spent much time in my kitchen in the last 24 hours.  (Light bulb moment - maybe THAT was the reason that I was in such a bad mood - I was going through kitchen withdrawal!)

Time in the kitchen is exactly what I needed to get me out of my foul mood.  I turned on some groovy music, started making dinner and like magic, I started to feel better.  By the time the kids got home from practice and Ben got home from work, I was a happy girl again.  (Funny how that works every time isn't it?)

This is what I made for dinner on that fateful night.  I modified the recipe from a Taste of Home magazine.

Jumbo Stuffed Shells
36 jumbo pasta shells
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups Italian blend cheese, shredded
1 egg
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning  (I used half basil and half oregano.)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
24 ounce jar spaghetti sauce

Cook shells according to package directions. 

Heat oil in skillet and cook onion and zucchini until tender.

Combine ricotta, 1 1/2 cup cheeses, egg and seasonings.

Add vegetables to cheese mixture.

Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x 13 dish.  (I divided my recipe in half and baked it in 2 separate 8 inch square pans so I could make 2 meals out of it instead of one.)

Fill pasta shells with filling and place on top of sauce in dish.

Spread remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

 Bake 40 minutes at 350.

 Serve with whole grain bread and the vegetable of your choice.

They're not so pretty to look at but they were awfully yummy to eat.  Sometimes the best meals are the least attractive.  Oh well, what really matters is that they were delicious AND my family gobbled them up.  Win -win.


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