stuffed shells

I made these for dinner last night. It was one of my favorite meals growing up. I've changed my mom's recipe to give it a little more gourmet taste, but it's still easy and delicious.

  • 1/2 box of shells, cooked according to package directions
  • 4 cups cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • Your favorite jarred marinara (my recommendation)
  • Asiago/Parmesan, or both
Preheat the oven to 350°. While the shells are cooking, prepare the filling. Mix cottage cheese with the other cheeses. You can choose to add different types of cheese if you'd like. Parmesan would be great. Add the eggs, garlic salt, and dried herbs (crush them in your hand first). Mix it thoroughly and set aside.

Drain the shells when al dente. Spread 1/3 of the marinara on the bottom of an 8x8 pan. LineRun a little bit of cold water over them to avoid burning yourself. Stuff the shells with the cottage cheese mixture. People always tell me not to stuff them too much, but I love it--so I stuff it! (Okay, a little too cheesy there--um... that was too. Sorry.)

Line the pan with your pleasantly plump shells, open side up. It's okay to squeeze them together to fit them all. Top with Asiago or parmesan cheese--or both, like I did.

Bake at 350° covered in foil for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 10 more minutes.

Bonus~A Poor Couple's Garlic Bread

When we can't afford gourmet artisan bread or don't want to go to the store (or when dinner is almost ready and your significant other says, "Where's the bread?"), this is what we do:
  • Take a few slices of whole wheat, store-bought bread.
  • Toast them.
  • Undress one garlic clove (a.k.a. Smash it with a can and remove the peel.)
  • Rub it on the toast. 
Voila! Instant, cheap, and tasty garlic bread. It literally takes a couple minutes.

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