Tag Archives: Grains / Rice / Pasta

Shrimp Stuffed Shells

My oh my – Cooking Light is two for two in my books so far.  I warned you guys that I was really impressed by the magazine, and it only took me a few days to whip-up another recipe that went straight to the front of the “must-blog” list – it was truly that delicious.

I have had these jumbo pasta shells in my cupboard since last year…I always wanted to make stuffed shells, but we aren’t the biggest pasta fans (read: I am not and I’ve gotten CH on board with spaghetti squash as a replacement!) so something always trumped one of the recipes I came across for stuffed shells…until this one.

This recipe was truly one of the most delicious pasta dishes I’ve made and I love that it has shrimp.  The creamy texture of the filling is also very welcomed in my books.  But the best part of this recipe is that it is”light” especially when it comes to baked pasta dishes.  Another slam-dunk for CL. CH and my friend who was my recipe tester (thanks CA!) both couldn’t believe how delicious this dish was, especially given it’s very friendly calorie count (see below!).

It is definitely a make-again, and leftovers were well received too (it reheated beautifully for a pasta dish).

If you like shrimp, creamy filled, baked pasta with a beautiful tomato sauce, definitely give this one a try.


Shrimp-Stuffed Shells

Yield:  5 servings (4 shells each)
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time:  30-35 minutes


  • 24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 8 ounces)
  • 1.5 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, or 4 shallots, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, grated or minced finely
  • 0.5 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 0.25 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (I used homemade), divided
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Preheat oven to 400°.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Cook the pasta shells for 7 minutes or until almost al dente.  Do not add any salt or oil to the water. Drain well and set-aside.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add the onion or shallots to the pan and saute for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic to the pan and saute for an additional minute.

Add the cream cheese, milk, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until cream cheese melts, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Set-aside for a few minutes.

Once shrimp have been de-veined, peeled and coarsely chopped, be sure to dry them off with paper towel. Place shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle with the corn starch – toss well to coat evenly. Add the shrimp to the cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.

Coat a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread 1 cup marinara over bottom of dish and arrange empty shells in the pan (makes clean-up a little easier to do it this way!).

Divide shrimp mixture evenly among pasta shells – about a tablespoon in each shell. Once all of the shells are filled, top them evenly with the remaining 2 cups of marinara sauce. Sprinkle shells evenly with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and cover with tinfoil.

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, remove tinfoil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until shrimp are done (they will be opaque).


Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Nutritional Information:

Amount per serving (4 stuffed shells)

  • Calories: 496
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 6.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 31.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 85.6g
  • Fiber: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 163mg
  • Iron: 4.1mg
  • Sodium: 575mg
  • Calcium: 208mg


Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Italian, Mains

Buck-Up: Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Ravioli

Fate was calling at my door with this recipe….almost taunting me.  Hence “buck-up” in the title…it was time for me to “buck-up” and make pasta from scratch.

I received the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid as a wedding gift from a very good friend (and another very talented cook!).  I have had EVERY intention of using it before now, but something always comes up. When I received my recipe from the WC recipe exchange, it was fate telling me that it was time to get at it.  In my defense, we don’t eat pasta that often, so that’s probably why I haven’t made it to date….

Annie’s Eats to the rescue again.  She has an incredible step-by-step pasta tutorial that minimized a lot of my fears and made it much easier to attempt this recipe.  I used Annie’s pasta recipe as my base and then used the filling recipe I received from the exchange, with a few tweaks of my own (you guessed it, goat cheese!).  The creamy sauce with a touch of tomato was a mix of a recipe from Annie’s Eats and some personal additions to make it a little more our style.  The sauce really accompanied the butternut squash goat cheese filing well.  The filling is quite rich, so the light and fresh sauce complimented it well.

Will I make homemade pasta again? ABSOLUTELY.  I have full intentions of spending a lazy Sunday in the kitchen very soon, making large batches of homemade pasta and freezing them for future use.  Was it A LOT of work? Yes.  I did really enjoy it though, and seeing the end result was worth it.

A tip – for those of you who don’t want to tackle the pasta dough from scratch, Olivieri makes fresh pasta sheets that you can find in almost all supermarkets (along with the other fresh pasta).  So, you simply grab a pack of these, make the filling below and stuff them (which, in my opinion, was the fun part!).

This was a fabulous Friday dinner and a welcomed distraction from my education paper!  Thanks to Does Not Cook Well With Other’s, a fellow food blogger who submitted this recipe to the exchange!


Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Ravioli

Yield:  26 large raviolis (4 large servings)
Prep Time:  2.5hrs (including pasta making and butternut squash roasting)
Cook Time:  15 minutes (cook in batches)


For the pasta:

For the filling:

Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 2.5 cups butternut squash, cubed in 2inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Remaining Filling:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 tbsp soft goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1.5 cup of milk
  • 0.5 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Begin by roasting the butternut squash.  Simply place the cubed butternut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes, until nice and golden brown.  Remove from oven, place on paper towel to absorb remaining oil and let cool completely.

While butternut squash is cooling off, prepare pasta according to Annie’s directions.  Be sure to let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare your filing.  In a small skillet, heat butter over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook until translucent (3 to 4 minutes).  Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).   Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.

In the bowl, along with the shallot and garlic mixture, add the butternut squash, goat cheese, cream cheese and grated parmesan.  Mix well to combine.  Using a hand-held blender, puree the mixture until smooth.  (Alternatively, place all ingredients in your standmixer and mix on high-speed until well combined and smooth).  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside until ready for use.

Once the dough is ready and the mixture is cool, roll out your dough and stuff the raviolis according to Annie’s directions.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, begin preparing your sauce.   In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Once butter is melted, add the flour and whisk well.  Cook the butter/flour mixture for 2 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown. Add the milk to the butter/flour mixture and whisk well.  Bring sauce to a gentle boil and continue whisking until sauce is smooth and thickened.  Add tomatoes and parmesean cheese to the sauce and whisk to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Once water is at a rapid boil, cook the raviolis in batches (approximately 5 at a time).  Cook for approximately 3 – 5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well and serve on a platter, topped with sauce, freshly grated parmesan and springs of parsley!


Recipe Adapted From Does Not Cook Well With Others. Pasta Dough & Instructions from Annie’s Eats


Filed under Italian, Mains, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

A Match Made in Heaven: Tomato Goat Cheese Pasta

To put it simply:  I think CH might have married me because of this dish!  He is one happy man when I make this as it combines two of his favourite things:  goat cheese and pasta!

This recipe is absolutely simple to prepare, but tastes as though you’ve spent hours preparing it.  Even though tomatoes aren’t in season, there is something about this recipe that highlights the tomatoes to their true glory (it goes without saying that the better the tomatoes, the better the sauce, but I prepared this last night and it was just as delicious as always!).

I’ve served this several times for company and they’ve all raved about it.  It goes beautifully with a nice piece of grilled salmon and a side salad, or simply on it’s own for a quick weeknight meal.

I almost didn’t get to post this recipe today!  You see, I set aside a portion to photograph in daylight, but by the time I’d gone back into the kitchen, CH had put it on his plate and was headed back to the table!  Luckily, I got to photograph it and share it with you, and CH got it for lunch!


Tomato Goat Cheese Pasta

Yield:  4 Servings
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  30 minutes


  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or finely sliced
  • 500 grams of fresh grape tomatoes, sliced in half*
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (or water)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp soft goat cheese + 1 tbsp to serve
  • 150 grams of dry pasta, spaghetti or bow-tie
  • 3 tbsp of pasta water
  • 2 tbsp of fresh basil (optional)

* You can also use roma, vine-rippened or whatever tomatoes you choose, but be sure to place all of the juices in the pan when you chop them!


In a large deep saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes).

Once onions are cooked, add in grated garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute).

Add the chopped tomatoes to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.  Add in the chicken stock and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.  While the tomatoes are cooking, and using the back of a wooden spoon, breakdown the tomatoes.

Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Once cooked, drain pasta, reserving 3 tbsp of water.

After 25 minutes, add the goat cheese to the tomato mixture and stir until combined.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place pasta and reserved water in the saucepan with the tomato mixture and stir to combine!

Serve immediately and garnish with fresh basil and remaining goat cheese.


JBean Original Recipe


Filed under Healthy, Mains, Vegetarian and Vegan