As you can probably see there is a slight trend with my posts. I love cheese and I love pasta! This week team Bohlson made spinach and mushroom stuffed shells. Instead of using cups of ricotta for the stuffing, we substituted in low-fat cottage cheese. We also had a guest appearance in the Eat Fit Not Fat kitchen, Mr. 2fns.com himself, Jon Bard! He did a great job at stuffing shells 🙂 He also brought with him my very own 2fns.com apron (see below) all the way from Buffalo, NY.  What a great gift! Now,  with out further ado;

You will need:

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For the stuffed shells: (yields 8 servings)
Kosher salt
8 ounces (20 to 24) jumbo pasta shells
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling and brushing
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups low-fat small-curd cottage cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

A couple shakes of crushed red pepper flakes

A couple shakes of dried oregano

A couple shakes of cracked black pepper

For the sauce:

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

1/2 -1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce

For the cheese sauce:

1/4 cup low-fat small-curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil large pot of salted water. Cook pasta shells for approx 7 minutes or until slightly softened but still firm. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drizzle olive oil over shells, toss and place aside.

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Slice mushrooms thinly and dice onion, place aside. Heat pan with olive oil on medium heat . Saute onions till tender (approx 4 minutes). Add crushed garlic and stir (30 seconds). Add Mushrooms and saute till slightly brown (another 2 minutes or so). Add spinach and cook till heated through, approx 2 minutes. Remove from burner and let it cool completely.

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Finely chop the spinach-mushroom mixture and combine in a bowl with the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a couple shakes red pepper flakes, oregano and pepper. Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the filling; set aside. Mr. 2fns.com himself helped stuff our shells tonight 🙂 Thanks Jono!

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Make the cheese sauce: Combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and egg in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

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Combine diced tomatoes and approx 1/2-1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce. Spread approx 1/2 of sauce mixture on bottom of a greased 9×13 in. Pyrex dish.

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Add the stuffed shells, then top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes; uncover and continue baking until bubbly, 15 to 20 more minutes. Turn on the broiler; drizzle the shells with the cheese sauce and broil, about 2 minutes.
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Top shells with parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy! We also paired our shells with a side salad to add some healthy greens to our life.  Special thanks to Jono and Adrienne Bard for their help in the kitchen this week.

Recipe adapted from : http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/mushroom-spinach-stuffed-shells-recipe/index.html

Calorie Break Down:

Eat Fit Not Fat Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Shells : Per serving: Calories 368; Fat 17 g (approx 3 shells)

Similar recipe found on allrecipes.com which used ricotta instead of cottage cheese: 550 calories and 24.5 g of fat per serving. ( http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Stuffed-Shells-III/Detail.aspx)

Check out the super cool apron I got for being a culinary food blogger on 2fns.com 🙂

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