1 pound ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups hot water
1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules or reduced beef broth
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
24 jumbo shell noodles, cooked and drained
Step 1: In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in water, tomato paste, bouillon and oregano. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Meanwhile, combine egg, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Stuff shells with cheese mixture.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange shells in a greased 13x9-in. or 3-qt. baking dish. Pour meat sauce over shells. Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Freeze option: After assembling, cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake as directed, adding remaining 1 cup mozzarella after 30-40 minutes and increasing time as necessary for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°. Yield: 8 servings.
Step 4: Get a nutritious boost by adding a 5-ounce package of chopped baby spinach to the cheese mixture.
Step 5: The sweet anise like flavor and bright color make basil a great garnish choice for this.