Pepperoni Pasta Bake

There are times when I go to the grocery store and somehow leave without actually getting everything on my list. And then there are times when I cross every last thing off, only to get home and realize I didn’t buy enough of something or forgot to put something on the list in the first place. Enter improvisation. When making these stuffed shells, I substituted broccoli for shredded zucchini because I failed to buy any, and also some of the ricotta for Greek yogurt because I didn’t buy enough! Some people say you shouldn’t admit to screwing up and instead say it was all planned out from the beginning. However, I prefer admitting how awesome my creative skills under pressure because these shells were still awesome.

Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Two years ago: Butterscotch Haystack Cookies

PEPPERONI PASTA BAKE

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

15 oz. part-skim ricotta

5 oz. plain Greek yogurt (I used o% Chobani)

1-1/4 cups chopped broccoli

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

1 egg, beaten

Salt and pepper

3 cups marinara sauce, divided

28 (7 oz.) jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package drections

2 oz. mini turkey pepperoni slices

3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta,broccoli, basil, and egg. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  3. Spread 1 cup marinara in prepared baking dish. Fill each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta mixture and arrange in an even layer in dish. Top with remaining 2 cups marinara, then pepperoni and mozzarella.
  4. Cover with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, remove foil, and broil until cheese is browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Top with additional basil and serve.

Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, October 2012.

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