Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kale & Ricotta Stuffed Giant Shells ... and Absent-Minded Food Bloggers

How do the rest of you food bloggers keep track of the recipes you're creating? I have a terrible habit of writing things down as I cook on the back of an old envelope, a piece of mail, a bill. And then I lose them. I would guess I lose track of half the recipes I write down on those random scraps. This is one of those recipes. It was lost for nearly a month. I have finally found it, only to have forgotten many of the "mental notes" I had made about how to write out the recipe. So here is the reconstructed version, put together from messy incomplete notes, my sad excuse for memory, and my instincts (which I trust more than my notes and my memory put together!)

I'm impressed with the Tinkyada Brown Rice Grand Shells. They hold up pretty darn well and are easy to stuff, though I recommend undercooking them slightly and handling them with a little extra care. They're wholesome and they taste great. You could feed this dish to your friends without anyone guessing it's gluten-free. Casseroles are very much fall and winter foods for me, even if they're not made with squash or sweet potatoes. This one is a winner. This is really a tasty meal, and reheats fabulously well. I like to reheat it with a little extra sauce and/or cheese added to it for extra yums. It's a nice way to get some more vegetables and fiber into your (or your vegetable-hating child's) diet.



[ Gluten-Free / Vegetarian / Dairy / Soy-Free ]

1 package Tinkyada Gluten-Free Brown Rice Grand Shells

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups of finely shredded or chopped kale, uncooked
1 1/2 cups crimini mushrooms, minced
1/2 onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces reduced fat mozzarella, shredded
15 ounces low-fat ricotta
1-2 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup marinara sauce for under shells
2 cups marinara sauce for over shells
8 ounces reduced fat mozzarella, shredded
Optional: Additional parmesan

Boil shells according to package directions in lightly salted water until al dente consistency. Remove, drain, gently rinse with cold water and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a heavy pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sautee onions until translucent, then add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sautee until they let off a little bit of liquid. Add shredded kale and sautee until tender. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, mash together ricotta, 4 ounces of mozzarella, 1-2 Tbsp of parmesan, spices and egg. When combined, add the sauteed vegetables and mix well.

In the bottom of a baking dish spread one cup of marinara sauce. Stuff each pasta shell gently but generously with the filling (you know it's properly stuffed when some filling should is coming out of the shell) and lay in the baking dish. When you have stuffed all of the shells, pour remaining two cups of sauce evenly over the shells and sprinkle with mozzarella and optional parmesan. Cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for additional 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.


Ellie's mom said...

Your timing couldn't be better. I bought a box of those shells last week and have been contemplating what to do with them. I plan to replace the kale with spinach because it's one of my family's favorites and will make the dish even more appealing to them.

Cindy said...

These look awesome, but I can't do the dairy. I love the use of kale though! I was going to make stuffed shells for our (originally not gf) wedding rehearsal dinner. I was discouraged when I couldn't find gf pasta shells, so thanks for finding them and posting this! I'm going to link to/email your blog post to my family and show you off :)

Good timing since I'm eating kale and gf pasta right now, lol

Karina said...

I love the Tinkyada shells, too! Your recipe sounds fabulous- and makes me wish I could still indulge in dairy.

And to answer your blogging question- I lose recipes, too! I jot down notes and forget to identify the recipe (hmmm, what version was this- the one that worked or the one that tasted eh?). Or I misplace the piece of paper all together.

Sometimes I have a fab recipe but a lousy photo. Those are the most heartbreaking. I want to share the tasty new recipe, but if the photo sucks? It doesn't get posted.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving in New York, by the way!



wheatlessbay said...

Cold, naked shells. Burrrr.

A hardcover chemistry laboratory notebook.

Sheri said...

Those look incredible - need to find some of those shells. I do the same thing with recipes - I scratch out the basic recipe, intending to rely on the actual experience to flesh it out, and then lose the piece of paper/the dog eats it/the cats shred it.

bc2mc3 said...

I looked at your link for Tinkyada Grand Shells and I could not find them anywhere. Where are you finding these shells. Thanks

ByTheBay said...

bc2mc3: you can buy the shells here:

or here:

I find them at my local healthfood store which has a big GF section.

ByTheBay said...

oops - sorry, the first link is wrong but the second one works and i've changed the link within my blog post to be accurate.

ByTheBay said...

Having link problems. Here is a link to buy them at Amazon:

Tinkyada Grand Shells

Anonymous said...

how many shells does this fill?

ByTheBay said...

Anonymous: I havne't made this in a while with shells (most recently I made it with penne as baked ziti) but if I recall it fills one package of the Tinkyada Grand Shells (see link above your comment to purchase them). Hope this helps!