Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baked pasta shells with stuffings....

I was at the supermarket last weekend when I chanced upon these jumbo pasta shells. They look so cute! Each pasta shell is slightly bigger than the size of a tablespoon. So I bought a box...not really knowing what to do with it yet.....

I googled online for some recipes using these jumbo shells. Most recipes have recommended stuffing cheeses in the shells. While I don't mind some cheese in my food....stuffing the shells with nothing but cheese sounds too much for my liking!

So I discontinued my search online and decided to just make use of whatever ingredients I have in my refrigerator. I found some leftover roast chicken, frozen spinach and some mozzarella cheese.

I chopped half an onion, shredded the roast chicken (about 1.5 cup) and thawed the frozen spinach (about 1.5 cup). I also brought some water to boil in a pan and added in 6 pieces of the pasta shells to cook till quite soft.

To prepare the stuffing, I heated a pan and added some olive oil to it. First I fried the onions till soft and translucent...then I added in the shredded chicken...followed by the spinach. I also added in some chicken stock to give it some moisture....for seasoning, I added 1/2 tsp of dried oregano, 1/2 tsp of dried basil and some salt/pepper. Finally, I added about 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese to the mixture and stir till well mixed. I then removed the pan from the stove and allow the stuffing to cool for awhile at room temperature.

When the pasta shells were cooked, I drained out the hot water and then ran some cold water through the shells. I took each shell and stuffed it with the chicken/spinach mix. I had two small baking dish and I added 1 heap tablespoon of pasta sauce to coat the bottom of each dish. Then I placed the stuffed shells into the dish...3 in each.

Then I topped off the stuffed shells with another 2 tablespoons of pasta sauce and sprinkled some mozarella cheese on top.
My oven had already been preheated at 350F. I covered the dishes with aluminium foil and then popped them into the middle shelf to bake for about 45min. For the last 5min, I had removed the aluminium foil so that the cheese would get slightly browned.

Well, here are my baked stuffed pasta shells. RG gave 2 thumbs up....and that's good enough for me! =)

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