Stuffed Pasta Shells, lightened up

I happen to love stuffed shells, filled with a rich egg and ricotta and mozzarella mixture, covered in a hearty marinara sauce.  They’re great on a cold winter’s night, and frankly, they’re about the only way most of us eat stuffed shells.

Recently I made a version that would be nice and light for warmer days.

The quick summary:  I made a simple white sauce and added a little grated Parmigiano cheese.  Chopped cooked chicken and chopped frozen broccoli were stirred into the white sauce, stuffed into cooked pasta shells, and baked until hot.

You could substitute peas or corn or your favorite vegetable or a combination of vegetables, for the broccoli.

More detailed directions here:

Make a simple, light white sauce.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan and then add 3 tablespoons of flour.  Combine well and stir for about 4 minutes.  Add 2 cups of milk and stir until thickened over medium-low heat.  Add a handful of grated parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is softened.  Remove from the heat.  By the way, I substituted canola oil for the butter and used skim milk.

To the white sauce, add about a heaping cup of chopped cooked chicken (leftover, or rotisserie) and an equal amount of chopped cooked or frozen vegetables (all one kind or a combination).  Stuff into cooked pasta shells and place in an 8 inch square baking dish.  Bake at about 350 degrees until heated throughout, about 30 minutes.

This amount makes a relatively small dish, not a big family casserole.  It can be doubled (or tripled).





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