Dinner Anyone?

8 Mar

I made dinner for me and my husband last night. This is a change from our usual routine because my mother, who is currently residing with us, prepares dinner.

I generally build my weekday meal depending on what I have in stock. I dug into my refrigerator and spotted some ricotta, mozzarella, a bunch of basil leaves and very little vegetables.  I originally thought of a chickpea based pasta soup with a cheesy topping but that is just way too much work for a week night. I found some jumbo pasta shells in my pantry and soon ideas began to shift around in my head. I’d make a a one course meal of pasta shells stuffed with herb & chili ricotta cheese in a tomato basil sauce.

I quickly got to work and assembled the shells, made the tomato sauce & arranged everything on the pan and baked. The thing I love about this recipe is that low fat ricotta is actually very low in fat, high in protein and a good source of calcium. Total prep time is about 20 mins.

For 4 servings –


8oz Jumbo pasta shells


1 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated mozzarella

3 chilies chopped


1 cup loosely packed basil leaves , chopped into small pieces


1 cup loosely packed basil leaves cut into long strips

1 small onion (preferably red) cut into tiny pieces

1 15oz can of crushed tomatoes

(Alternatively, you can use 3 cups of ready made red pasta sauce. I like Maria Batali sauce from Whole Foods).


1) Bring a large pot of water to boil.

2) Mix all the ingredients for the filling together

3) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4) Make the sauce – Saute the onion in oil. Add the crushed tomatoes & 1 cup of water to this and simmer.

5) Cook the pasta just al dente.

6) Once the pasta is cooked, fill the shells with the filling.

7) Spray the pan with some oil, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce as a base.Arrange the shells in the pan in a single layer on top of the tomatoes. Pour the rest of the sauce on top . Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. I always bake in the top most rack.

Remove the pan from the oven and enjoy! The original recipe calls for grated Parmesan on top but I prefer it as it is .

(Courtesy: Recipe Behind Barilla Pasta Shell Box & Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks.com)


2 Responses to “Dinner Anyone?”

  1. meenasehar March 8, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Thanks.Just what i need for dinner this weekend.

  2. Anu March 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    Nice..will try sometime 🙂

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