Meatless Monday is a very good thing. As much as I love meat, I whole heartedly agree that this is an important movement for us to abide by. Not only are you doing something good for your health, but you are doing something great for the planet as well by reducing your carbon footprint. The meatless monday’s website is very informative if you would like some more information on the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s.’
When I told my husband what I was making for dinner, he grumbled a little bit, but when it came time to chow down, boy did he ever!
This is a very flavorful recipe, and I bet your husbands and/or children won’t even know how many yummy vegetables are in it.
This sauce takes about 2 hours to simmer, so leave plenty of time to make it. Weekends are a good time to prepare lengthy recipes so your weekday meals are quick and easy to make. This recipe also makes a double batch, so it is perfect to put half in the freezer for a quick meal next time!
I encourage all of you to make this sauce over the weekend, and enjoy your quick, easy Meatless Monday night dinner!
Stuffed Shells with Vegetable Ragu
1 Carrot, peeled 1 stalk of celery 4 cloves garlic 1/2 large onion, roughly 1/2C 1 small (1/4C) zucchini, shredded 3T extra virgin olive oil 1-28oz Can San Marzano tomatoes, diced or pureed 2t dry basil 1t dry oregano 1 1/2t kosher salt 1t fresh cracked pepper 2 sprigs of rosemary 1T balsamic vinegar 1T red wine 12 jumbo shells, cooked and set aside 1 8oz ball of fresh mozzarella 1/4C parmesan 2t fresh parsley
- In a food processor; mince the carrot, celery, garlic, and onion. Be careful not to turn it into mush. You can do this by hand as well if you have the time.
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium
- Add the minced vegetables, and cook for about 7-10 minutes until soft and starting to brown a tad
- Add in the zucchini and the diced tomatoes. *You can process the tomatoes if you don’t like large chunks
- Add in dried spices, rosemary, salt, pepper, wine, and balsamic vinegar
- Uncovered; let simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, stirring occasionally
- When ready to assemble; spread 1C of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish
- Stuff each shell with about 1T worth of fresh mozzarella (shredding the mozzarella ahead of time may make it easier to use)
- Place the shells in your casserole dish, sprinkle with a little more salt, cracked pepper and fresh parsley; top with 1 1/2-2 more cups of sauce and sprinkle with parmesan
- Bake for about 20 minutes in the oven on 350 until cheese is melted and sauce starts to bubble
- You can also broil the top for the last 5 minutes to get the cheese nice and golden brown