Four Cheese Stuffed Shells With Smoky Marinara Sauce

Vary the filling by adding basil or oregano and different cheeses. Try fontina instead of the mozzarella and add some arugula for a peppery bite

1 pound jumbo shell pasta (40 shells)
Cooking spray
12 oz carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
15-ounce carton ricotta cheese

 
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
6 cups Smoky Marinara **
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 375°.

  3. Coat 2 (13 x 9-inch) baking dishes with cooking spray; set aside.

  4. Place cottage cheese and ricotta cheese in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine cottage cheese mixture, Asiago, and next 6 ingredients (Asiago through spinach).

  5. Spoon or pipe 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into each shell. Arrange half of stuffed shells, seam sides up, in one prepared dish. Pour 3 cups Smoky Marinara over stuffed shells. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat procedure with remaining stuffed shells, Smoky Marinara, and mozzarella in remaining prepared dish.

  6. Cover with foil. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

**Smoky Marina Sauce:

   
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cups chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes