Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stuffed! Literally.

The Mr. and I have a busy week and a half before we head on vacation (small happy dance inserted here). So, on Sunday we decided to make a few meals that will see us through until our departure.
One of my favorite go-to's is baked pasta. But I hate feeling like I am chowing down on so many carbs just days before slipping into a bikini!
I found this recipe from one of my favorite chefs, Giada De Laurentis. If she can eat pasta all the time and stay teeny tiny, there is hope for the rest of us! I made a few adaptations to make this mixture even more healthy.

Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells (adapted from Everyday Italian):


-1 12oz. Box Jumbo Pasta Shells

-1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped

-3 Cloves Garlic, chopped

-1 lb. Ground Turkey meat

-1 package Frozen Artichokes, coarsely chopped (I used canned, medium artichokes)

-1 15oz. container Ricotta cheese (I used low fat Cottage cheese)

-3/4 c. grated Parmesan (I used low fat shredded Italian cheese blend)

-2 Eggs, lightly beaten

-1/4 c. Fresh Basil, chopped

-2 Tbsp. Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped (I omitted)


Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until slightly tender, but still very firm (about 5 minutes). Drain pasta and set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for about 3 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add the ground turkey to the skillet, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is slightly golden and cooked through. Add artichokes, stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and let mixture cool.

In a large bowl, combine turkey mixture with Ricotta (or Cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, basil, parsley and salt and pepper. Stir to combine all ingredients.

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with your favorite pasta sauce. I used Giada's Arrabbiata sauce, minus the pancetta. Take a shell in palm of your hand, spoon turkey mixture inside of shell (will equal about 2 Tbsp.). Place stuffed shell along edge of baking dish, stuffing side up. Continue stuffing until baking dish is full. We were able to fill two baking dishes. Drizzle remaining pasta sauce over shells and top with shredded Italian cheese.

Bake in 400 degree oven until shells are warmed through and cheese is melted, about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Cheers! MM

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