After visiting a local organic cafe, I discovered the amazing, fresh taste of “whirled peas.” I know I had to incorporate that flavor into my all time favorite food, pasta. Focusing on keeping the dish healthy and delicious, the pasta shells are stuffed with a cream mixture of peas and cottage cheese. This allowed the dish to stay low in calories, yet taste rich and creamy. The shells are not covered with a heavy cream sauce, but instead a flavorful marinara. With this guilt-free dish, you can have your pasta and eat it too. These are not your mother’s peas. – Colleen
1 (12-ounce) box of Jumbo Pasta Shells
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup Yellow Onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Red Wine
1 (28-ounce) can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 Cup Frozen Sweet Peas, cooked & cooled
2 Small Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
1 Cup Parmesan, grated
3/4 Cup Cottage Cheese
1 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
2-3 Basil Leaves
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.
2. Add the chopped onion and saute over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
4. Add the wine and cook on high heat, until almost all of the liquid evaporates.
5. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat.
6. While the sauce is simmering, pulse together the peas, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor.
7. Add the cottage cheese and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
9. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water to help prevent the pasta from sticking.
10. Add the pasta shells and cook until al dente, or according to the directions on the package, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta.
11. Pour 1/4 of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a large baking casserole dish.
12. Spoon the pea mixture into each of the shells, and place them into the casserole dish.
13. Top with more marinara and the rest of the Parmesan.
14. Bake at 375 degrees, until hot and bubbly.
15. Garnish with the basil leaves and serve immediately.