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Zucchini Stuffed Shells - total time 45 minutes

If you have a vegetable garden, chance are you are swimming in zucchini right now!  Ours are coming in spurts... I don't notice any in the garden... and then all of a sudden there are a dozen... and half of them are giants!  Eep!  What to do... what to do?  

The great thing about zucchini (besides the fact one plant could feed a neighborhood) is that it doesn't have a distinct flavor, so it works well "hidden" in a ton of dishes.  

So of course I'm going to put zucchini in some stuffed shells.  I always feel just a little bit guilty eating stuffed shells with all of that cheese.  This recipe subs out half of that cheese for some shredded zucchini.  That's a great way to reduce the dairy and increase the vitamin A and C, potassium, and fiber.  Plus, it's a green veggie... extra healthy points!  And you really don't taste it... it's just like normal stuffed shells.  You have to try this, it is win-win!

2 zucchini, shredded
8 oz ricotta
1 egg
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp pesto
20 jumbo shells
2 cups tomato sauce
.25 cup parm, shredded
salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook noodles according to package.  Strain and set aside to cool.
2.  Shred the zucchini and squeeze excess water out with a paper towel.  Chop onion and mince garlic.  Add zucchini, onion, and garlic to a medium heat pan with a swig of olive oil.  Add salt and pepper and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.  Combine ricotta, egg, and pesto in a medium mixing bowl.  Add zucchini mixture to the bowl and combine.
4.  Spread half a cup of the tomato sauce around the bottom of a casserole dish.  Spoon in zucchini-ricotta mixture into each shell and place in the casserole dish.  Spoon out a dollop of tomato sauce on each stuffed shell then sprinkle the shredded parm on top.  Bake for 30 minutes.

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