Pesto Stuffed Shells

Like lasagne, this is not a dish to undertake at 7 PM when you’re already starving. Stuffed shells take a bit of time to prepare, assemble and bake, but the final product is well worth the effort.
Serves 8.



SODIUM CONTENT: 134.9 mg per serving

INGREDIENTS

1 12-oz. pkg. jumbo shells (will use about 2/3)

SAUCE:
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, drained and diced
2 8-oz. cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. red wine
1/2 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried savory
1/4 t. dried thyme

FILLING:
1 12-oz. pkg. silken tofu, drained
1 egg
1/2 c. pesto (1 recipe)
1/2 c. shredded fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese

TOPPING:
1/3 c. shredded fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese
1 T. grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Bring a stockpot of water to boil over high heat. Add the dry pasta, return to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully remove shells from water and place on waxed paper to cool.

To prepare the sauce, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out a 9 x 13-inch oven-proof casserole dish and set aside.

To assemble the filling, place the tofu into a mixing bowl and break up with a spoon. Continue stirring the tofu until smooth. Add the egg and pesto and mix well. Stir in the mozzarella cheese and set aside.

To assemble the dish, spread a thin layer of sauce across the bottom of the casserole pan. Fill the cooled, cooked shells with the pesto-tofu mixture (about 1 T. per shell; you will use only about 2/3 of the shells) and arrange in a single layer in pan. Once the shells are assembled in the pan, spoon the remaining sauce over top. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the shells, then top with the grated parmesan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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