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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheese Filled Shells
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
4 cups ricotta cheese (can use half ricotta and creamed cottage cheese)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 ounces cream cheese (very soft)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper (or to taste)
3-4 tablespoons oil
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add in onion with dried Italian seasoning and saute until just lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes (adding in the fresh garlic after the last 2 minutes (do not brown the garlic).
To the bowl add in ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, soft cream cheese, eggs, seasoned salt and black pepper; mix well to combine (at this point you may cover and refrigerate for 24 hours).
For the Shells:
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the lasagna noodles until they are just al dente (do not over cook the noodles as they will cook more in the oven, cooking time for the noodles should be a little less time than stated on the box).
Carefully remove the noodles then place into a large bowl of very cold water, shake off any excess water before layering in the dish.

Tomato Zucchini Bisque
zucchini (large, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks or sliced, it doesn't matter)
2 onions (cut into 1/8ths)
2 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 bulb of garlic (top sliced off to expose cloves)
2 bell peppers, any color, quartered
4 tablespoons olive oil (or as desired)
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (You may use 8 small or 4 large fresh tomatoes)
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup whipping cream (optioinal)
1/2 cup sweet basil, a large handful
parmesan cheese (grated or sliced on top)
Directions Simmer tomatoes, carrots and celery in broth. You may roast the fresh tomatoes with the other vegetables if you wish. If using canned, though, add them here.Drizzle other vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and bake at 350 to 425 for 30 to 45 minutes or until tender and slightly carmelized on the bottom, Stir occasionally. Drizzle olive oil onto garlic and roast in the same pan. Combine vegetables and pot of broth; add wine and basil. Return to boil over medium heat while stirring, reduce to simmer, and simmer for a couple of minutes to blend flavors. Remove from heat, puree with immersion blender, and add whipping cream. Reheat to warm cream but do not boil. Adjust salt and pepper, but remember the parmesan cheese grated on top will be salty, too. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

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