My Mom used to make stuffed shells a lot when I was growing up. The standard ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, garlic and spices filled the shells. There wasn’t anything about this dish that I didn’t love. I have been making a great “rinotta” cheeze lately that I have used in lasagna which is great, but when I stumbled across brown rice pasta large shells the other day…I couldn’t wait to make these!
The Rinotta Cheeze
- 2 – 15 oz. cans Cannellini Beans (white kidney) – drained
- 1 package firm tofu (the refrigerated -in the little plastic tub kind not mori-nu)
- 4 cloves of garlic or a tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1-2 tablespoon of Italian seasonings (basil, oregano etc. – season to taste)
- 3 – 25oz. jars no oil low sodium tomato sauce (we like Eden Organics Crushed Tomatoes with Sweet Basil)
- 1 – bag (5oz. fresh) baby spinach or other greens – you could also use frozen
- 2 – boxes large brown rice shells (these do NOT get cooked before being filled)
- 3/4 cup of water
In a food processor blend until smooth: beans, tofu, garlic and spices. Taste your rinotta. Need more garlic? Not enough basil? add more. Taste again. Repeat until you are happy with your creation. Cover the bottom of a glass pan (I used a a 13×9) with crushed tomatoes about 3/4″ deep. Add a layer of spinach. Fill the uncooked shells with the rinotta mixture using a small spoon. Place the shells in the pan until full. Add another layer of crushed tomatoes over the shells. Carefully pour the 3/4 cup of water around the outside edges of the pan. This helps the shells bake to perfection. Top the shells with some extra Italian spices. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes until the liquid is boiling and the shells are al dente.
I would love to show you a photo of what it looks like plated…but it looked so good and we had company over…and I forgot to get a snapshot before we ate it! It’s a marvelous dish, you can customize it any way you like. Add green peppers or kale, onions etc. We had the shells with a big herb mix salad with red sweet peppers. This is truly one of the best things I’ve created in the past year. :) – Enjoy!