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Fancy Stuffed Macaroni Shells

Natural.Foodie's picture
Ingredients
  Whole wheat macaroni shells 16 (Jumbo Variety)
  Celery 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), finely chopped
  Onions 2 Tablespoon, finely chopped
  Ricotta cheese 500 Milliliter (2 Cups)
  Spinach 3⁄4 Pound (340 Gram)
  Garlic 1 Clove (5 gm), minced
  Egg 1 , beaten
  Oregano 1⁄8 Teaspoon, crumbled
  Freshly grated nutmeg 1⁄8 Teaspoon
  Corn oil 15 Milliliter (1 Tablespoon)
  Shallots 1 Tablespoon, finely chopped
  Whole wheat flour 2 Tablespoon
  Chicken stock/Use milk/combination 500 Milliliter (2 Cups)
  Parmesan cheese 2 Tablespoon, grated
Directions

GETTING READY
1. Wash the spinach thoroughly.
2. Blanch or steam the spinach in very little hot water, just until the leaves are wilted.
3. Drain well, squeezing out excess water with hands and pat dry on paper toweling.
4. Finely chop and keep aside.
5. Grease an 8-inch casserole or baking dish.
6. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190° C.)

MAKING
7. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni shells for about 10 to 12 minutes, until tender –crisp or al dente.
8. Drain, refresh in cold water, separating the shells gently to prevent sticking. Keep aside.
9. To make the filling, heat a small sauté pan over high heat.
10. Add celery and onion along with a few drops of water and stir fry until limp.
11. Add garlic and chopped spinach and sauté for another few minutes until spinach is cooked.
12. Tip the mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly
13. Crumble in the ricotta then add egg, oregano and nutmeg and mix thoroughly.
14. Spoon the mixture into the macaroni shells. Keep aside.
15. To make the sauce, in a small skillet, heat the oil.
16. Add shallots and fry for few minutes until it is limp and translucent.
17. Stir in flour and sauté with onion for 2 minutes.
18. Gradually pour in stock or milk, stirring constantly, to make a smooth paste.
19. Cook on a low heat, stirring continuously until sauce is thick and bubbly.
20. In greased casserole dish, spread half the sauce.
21. Arrange stuffed macaroni shells on top
22. Pour remaining sauce over shells and cover with grated cheese.

FINALIZING
23. Cover dish with foil or its lid
24. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
25. Uncover the casserole and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

SERVING
26. Take the casserole straight from the oven to the table and serve the macaroni hot and cheesy.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Cuisine: 
Italian
Course: 
Main Dish
Method: 
Baked
Ingredient: 
Pasta
Interest: 
Party, Healthy
Preparation Time: 
20 Minutes
Cook Time: 
35 Minutes
Ready In: 
0 Minutes
Servings: 
8

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