It’s always good to try to improve and be a better person and whatnot, but I think when you reach your 30s, you start to give up on that a little bit and accept that in some areas, you’re just always going to fall short. And that’s okay! Sometimes giving up is liberating. Like on a Saturday, when you’re like, “I’m not going out today; I’m wearing sweatpants!” Those are the best days, aren’t they? So now, instead of intending to be better about the whole Christmas thing every year and then failing, I’m okay with admitting that I am the worst at Christmas. There, I said it! I forget to send Christmas cards, I go shopping at the last minute, we don’t even decorate. I do have a pine-scented candle that I like to light, though. It smells like the holidays all up in here!
So I’m going to admit to you now, December is not going to be all holiday recipes all the time on my blog. But this Cremini and Chard Stuffed Shells recipe is kind of a holiday recipe. Chris’s family usually has stuffed shells for Christmas. So there you go! Vegetarian stuffed shells are usually stuffed with either cheese alone or cheese and spinach, but I thought chard, mushrooms, and cheese would be a good way to switch things up. And it was! Adding veggies makes the cheese filling feel a bit less rich and mushrooms make everything delicious. While these make a great vegetarian option for holiday meals, they’re still perfect for a weeknight dinner too. And bonus: they freeze well!
16 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 4 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Stir in the chard and heat until wilted, 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mushrooms and chard to a large bowl; discard any leftover liquid. Stir in the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Taste the filling and add more salt and pepper if desired, then fold in the egg.
Spread 3/4 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a medium baking dish that’s been sprayed with an oil mister (or cooking spray if you don’t have a mister). Fill the pasta shells with the ricotta mixture and place them in the baking dish. Once all the shells are filled, spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the top, then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes; remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Let the shells sit for 5 minutes before serving.