Food Kuel Category Expert: Janet Neustedter
The best thing about making pasta is that it is incredibly versatile.
“With the right balance of ingredients, sauce and spices, pasta is a very satisfying meal.”
Many ingredients can blend with starchy, different-shaped noodles. If there is leftover protein such as chicken or steak and some veggies in the fridge you are on your way to making a great pasta dish. With the right balance of ingredients, sauce, and spices, pasta is a very satisfying meal. Nowadays with many people having gluten allergies, finding gluten-free pasta is easy. Experiment with the different types to find one that you enjoy.
Making a baked stuffed pasta is also easy enough to do, with a little extra time. Cannelloni loosely translates from the Italian “big tubes”. When you think of preparing baked cannelloni or stuffed shells, do you feel overwhelmed already? Are you daunted by ingredients or time to prepare?
Well, let me help with that!
Here Are The Ingredients:
- Pesto either store purchased or self-made
- Marinara sauce, and last is the pasta!
- 2 cups of greens such as spinach to the mixture.
- The filling can be made one day ahead.
- 1 30oz container of Ricotta
- 2 pasture-raised organic eggs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 cup pesto
- 2 cups greens, diced small
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
“I find that they suck in all the moisture as they cook, and the dish can end up a bit dry.”
Procedure On How To Make Baked Cannelloni Or Stuffed Shells Pasta:
Mix up to the ricotta and eggs together, then add the pesto and parmesan, add the greens last and gently mix. Over mixing makes the ricotta turn green.
For the shells: Although the packaging will say to cook them raw, I find that they suck in all the moisture as they cook, and the dish can end up a bit dry. I prefer to par-boil the pasta. Cook it to package directions, but only for about 3-5 minutes, just to get them started. (Remember to salt the water! “As salty as the sea”).
Have A Cookie Sheet:
Have a cookie sheet ready and take the shells out one by one and put them on the cookie sheet. In addition, transfer to the fridge for a few minutes to cool them off.
Spray a 9X13 inch pan with cooking spray (non-vegetable, canola or soy). Use avocado or olive oil. Pour a container of preferred sauce into the pan. Stuff the shells one by one and place into the pan. Cover the shells with more sauce and mozzarella cheese (grated). Bake on 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes.
Moreover, cover for 30 minutes then remove the cover and bake the remainder of time. (The entire dish can be prepared ahead, refrigerated, and then baked later).
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About the Author:
Janet is a restaurant-trained chef, who has always had a healthy cooking interest. After being exposed to the term Functional Medicine, Janet became energized with the connection of food being medicine and food potentially being harmful (in the case of allergies). That connection inspired her to become certified in Functional Medicine Health Coaching. Functional Medicine is about identifying and addressing the root cause of diseases. Food is often a part of that link. People with stomach “issues” may just need a simple adjustment in the food they eat to have less pain. People trying to lose weight can do it without 100 burpees or running marathons. As a certified Functional Medicine coach, she helps clients identify what foods can help meet specific health goals. You can learn more about Janet on her site – Here4You.