Are you working on upping your veggie intake this year? Yeah, me too. Some days it's easy, but some days, to be honest, all I want to do is curl up in a big bowl of comfort and call it good. Those are the days I turn to a dish like these Ratatouille-Stuffed Pasta Shells. Jam-packed with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and onions, I feel good about eating my veggies without giving up the comfort of a cheesy, comforting pasta dish. It's pretty much the perfect compromise.
As with dishes like lasagna or enchiladas, this is one of those recipes I like to split into smaller baking dishes so that I can bake one that night and then freeze the other(s) for busy weeknight dinners later on. #winningmealprep
Ratatouille-Stuffed Pasta Shells
Makes 24 shells
24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small eggplant, diced (about 2 cups)
3 medium red/orange/yellow bell peppers, diced (about 1/2 cups)
2 small zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 (16 ounce) tub of part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (optional but highly recommended)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups store-bought (or homemade) marinara sauce
4 ounces shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Rinse and separate any that have tucked themselves together and place on a paper towel until you're ready with the stuffing.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add eggplant and bell pepper and cook until the bell pepper starts to soften. Add the zucchini and tomato and cook until the zucchini starts to soften but isn't mushy. Remove from heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, torn basil, and Herbes de Provence. Stir in the vegetable mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Lightly spray one large or three small baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread some marinara sauce over the bottom of your baking dish(es). Stuff the cooked shells with the cheese/vegetable mixture and arrange tightly in the baking dish. Drizzle marinara sauce over the top and then sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown. If baking from frozen, your baking time will double.