Baked Shells

Baked Shells

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A little while ago I noticed some stores started carrying brown rice shells and lasagna noodles.  Finally the day has come!  I have given in to eating more wheat than normal this pregnancy as for some reason it has not affected me in the ways it normally does.  I’m still conscious about my wheat intake though and prefer to use non-wheat products when I can.  I love ricotta cheese and have been wanting to make some sort of stuffed shell dish.  I love all varieties of food but if I had to choose one ethnic cuisine I’d say Italian food is my favorite.  Cheese, olives, pasta, rice, olive oil, sausage, tomatoes, fish, prosciutto, I could go on!  And not to mention my all time favorite pecorino romano.  Some day I need to take a little food tour through Italy!  Ah my mouth is watering just thinking of all the delicious foods I need to try!  For this dish I didn’t want to go the traditional red sauce route so I figured I’d be all fall-like and make them with a delicata squash filling and sage-garlic infused olive oil for the sauce.  Sounds pretty good huh?  I ended up deciding to make a kale filling too so I could have a variety of flavors.  As with true Italian cooking I kept my dish simple.  At one point I started to have fun making more complex dishes but I then realized it’s more practical and just as delicious to follow a simpler route.  Fresh ingredients over the quantity of ingredients is where it’s at!

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Shells!

Kale and Squash fillings

Garlic Sage infused Olive Oil

Shells filled

Baked shells

YUM

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Baked Shells

  • brown rice jumbo shells, cooked and rinsed (I stuffed 20)
  • delicata squash
  • 1 cup frozen kale
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  • s&p
  1. Slice squash lengthwise, deseed, and bake in a 350° oven for 35 minutes or until tender.  Cool.
  2. Cook jumbo shells according to box, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
  3. Over super low heat place olive oil, garlic, sage, and s&p in a small skillet.  Allow oil to get warm but not hot.
  4. Make fillings.  Scoop squash from skin and mix with 1/2 the container of ricotta cheese.  Cook kale with a bit of water on the stove top until defrosted.  Drain and squeeze out excess water.  Mix cooked kale with the other half of the ricotta cheese.  I used my immersion blender to mix both fillings.
  5. Take the olive oil off the burner and allow flavors to infuse.
  6. Spread a thin layer of oil in a pyrex casserole dish.  Fill shells with both mixtures and place in the pyrex.  Strain the oil and drizzle half of it over the stuffed shells.  Bake in the oven, 350°, for 40 minutes until heated through and slightly browned.
  7. Serve shells into bowls and drizzle with remaining infused oil.  Top with pecorino romano.

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