- 16 uncooked pasta shells (I used Barilla Jumbo Shells)
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- A good shake of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 pound hot turkey Italian sausage (remove the casings) - you can make this recipe vegetarian by using tofu crumbles in place of the sausage
- 1 15-ounce container of low-fat ricotta cheese (I wanted to find fat-free, but of course they didn't have it...)
- 1/3 cup panko or other dry breadcrumbs
- 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I like to make my own (I make a ton and freeze it - today I'm using zucchini marinara; you could use jar sauce)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- Parmesan cheese - about 1/4-1/2 cup to sprinkle on the top
1. Cook shells according the package directions while the turkey is browning.
2. Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat with the garlic, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Stir frequently to help crumble the sausage. Remove from the heat and stir in the ricotta cheese, panko or breadcrumbs, parsley, and salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a large baking dish with fat-free nonstick spray. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara on the bottom of the baking dish.
4. Fill the cooked shells with the sausage and cheese mixture and place them filled-side up in the baking dish.
Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the shells and cover the dish with foil.
5. Bake the shells for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Remove the foil and continue baking until the filling is lightly browned.
Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese just before serving.
Reference: The original recipe can be found on the Now That's What Cooking Blog - Chicken Stuffed Shells.