Fall Recipe: Stuffed Pasta Shells

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Food-Matters/fall-recipe-stuffed-pasta-shells.aspx

Stuffed Pasta Shells
Makes 12 servings (2 pasta shells each)  

Full of rich flavor and nutritious ingredients, this easy-to-make Italian recipe, courtesy of Muir Glen, will satisfy families of all sizes. Fulfill a family of hungry kids, or light some candles and enjoy a romantic dinner for two—with leftovers to last the week! 

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Start to Finish: 1 Hour 20 Minutes 

stuffed pasta shells 
Enjoy a hearty dinner of pasta shells stuffed with cheese, spinach and Italian turkey sausage. Photo Courtesy Muir Glen. 

24 jumbo pasta shells (from 12-oz box)  
1 lb lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed  
1 container (15 oz) light ricotta cheese  
2 cups shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend (8 oz)  
1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain  
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves  
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (1 medium)  
1 jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen organic Italian herb pasta sauce 

1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.  

2.  In 10-inch skillet, crumble sausage. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain.  

3.  In medium bowl, stir ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the Italian cheese blend, the spinach and basil until well mixed. Stir in carrots and sausage.  

4.  Spread about 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce over bottom of baking dish. Spoon about 3 tablespoonfuls sausage mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange shells, filled sides up, on sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining pasta sauce over stuffed shells. Spray 15-inch piece of foil with cooking spray; cover shells with foil.  

5.  Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 

Did You Know? Light and part-skim ricotta cheese are not created equal. Part-skim is slightly higher in fat and calories. Compare the labels the next time you shop.