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Baked Stuffed Shells

Lynn Dugan- MyPlate2Yours

This is my go-to recipe when I crave a taste of my childhood! I'm not even sure my mom made these but the pasta and freshly made sauce that smothers each of these shells is a taste of home. AND! The savory filling with just a hint of spinach is a delicious blend of healthy and comfort!

One box of large pasta shells is what you'll need for this recipe. I often double this recipe to share!

Baked Stuffed Shells (serves 6)

½ large sweet onion, sliced thin

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1-15 ounce can plus 1-8 ounce can tomato sauce

1/3 cup red wine

1/3 cup water

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1-1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped

30 cooked large pasta shells

¾ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Brown ground beef and 1 clove minced garlic in hot skillet. When lightly browned, remove from heat. Pour pan's contents into a large bowl. Add the ricotta, basil, and spinach. Mix to combine and heat to wilt the spinach. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

In the empty skillet, sauté onion and 2 cloves minced garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Pour in tomato sauce, wine, and water. Bring to a simmer and add parsley. Cover and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

To assemble, spoon enough sauce to cover bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Begin filling shells with at least 2 tablespoons of filling. Arrange in baking dish and spoon sauce over shells just enough to cover. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake in 375 degrees oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce. Enjoy!

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