Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Garlic and Chicken Stuffed Shells


Every now and then I get in a pasta mood where I can’t get enough of it. My favorite dish that I always seem to order while dining out is manicotti. I love the cheesy filled shell, loaded with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Stuffed shells is not too far off from manicotti so I knew I would enjoy this recipe.  After having it bookmarked to try for almost a year, I finally got around to making it. The recipe calls for breadcrumbs to be incorporated into the filling and I wasn’t sure what it would add to the dish, but it worked really well and added the flavor you would normally get from adding Italian  seasonings. This dish definitely took care of my pasta craving and it even made enough that I was able to freeze some for later! 

Garlic and Chicken Stuffed Shells

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1 box uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 50 to 55 shells)

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

30 oz part skim ricotta cheese

1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

6 large basil leaves, torn

1/3 cup half and half

28 oz pasta sauce

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta shells according to package directions and drain. Separate onto a cutting board or cookie sheet to prevent from sticking together. Add ingredients garlic through half and half to a bowl and mix until just combined. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.

Spoon enough sauce into baking dish to cover the bottom. Fill the cooked shells with the ricotta mixture and place open side up in a prepared baking dish. Spoon as much of the remaining sauce over shells as desired. Bake covered with foil for 15 to 20 minutes, remove foil and continue baking for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

If freezing extra shells, to cook from the freezer, thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake as directed above.

Source: Annie’s Eats, adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride, originally from Allrecipes

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