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Pesto Chicken Shells - total time 1 hour

Basil is a great herb to grow because it it used so much in Italian cooking and has so much flavor.  Grow it in the summer and a little starter plant becomes a bush of delicious, fragrant flavor you can use daily.  At the end of the harvest season, grind up the remaining leaves with some olive oil and pine nuts to get pesto that you can freeze and use over the winter (bringing summer memories every time you open a container).  You can also grow it inside (I do!) and have that fresh flavor all year round (it doesn't grow quite as big).  This recipe can utilize some of that pesto you store away, similar to Chicken Pest Lasagna Rollups.

16-20 pasta shells
1 lb chicken
1 cup fresh mozzarella
12 oz ricotta
4 oz. pesto
1 egg
.25 cup shredded parm, divided
2 green onions, divided
tomato sauce (optional)
salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook chicken in pan on medium heat.  Boil shells for seven minutes, drain, and let cool.
2.  While chicken is cooking, combine ricotta, mozzarella, pesto, half of the parm, half of the green onions, and egg in a mixing bowl.  Shred the cooked chicken with two forks and add to mixing bowl.
3.  Stuff each shell with about three tablespoons of mixture and place in casserole dish.  Top with tomato sauce (optional) and remaining parm.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Top with remaining green onions and serve.


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