Any new mom knows that time in the kitchen is a luxury that may only present itself at odd hours. Use this make-ahead version of Cabot's famed Stuffed Shells to prepare a nourishing dinner whenever the time is right. These can be frozen up to 1 month in advance, thawed the night before in the refrigerator and baked according to the directions below.
1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 ounces Cabot Cream Cheese, softened
8 ounces Cabot Lite50 Sharp Cheddar, grated & divided (about 2 cups)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
16 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
16 large dried pasta shells
1 (26-ounce) jar low sodium marinara sauce
Fresh basil leaves (garnish)
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.
PREHEAT oven to 400°F.
COOK pasta In large pot of boiling water until al dente, or barely tender. Drain well, making sure to empty shells of any remaining water; set aside to cool briefly.
SPREAD about ½ 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.
REMOVE from oven and garnish with fresh basil.
For best results or to make even healthier:
This is my go to for stuffed shells . Highly recommend.