More comfort food. Large or jumbo pasta shells are needed here, or you can use manicotti tubes. You can also use lasagna noodles–cook, then divide in half or not, add filling and roll up. It’s prudent to cook more pasta than you’ll need as sometimes the shells or tubes rip while boiling or while being stuffed. The recipe calls for bulgur but you can use other, cooked grains too (1 1/2 c cooked grain). As well, most greens can sub for or be used with spinach (though I might eschew mizuna here). You can also use a ready-made tomato sauce.
2 T vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes with juice
fresh or dried chopped herb(s), to taste
salt and pepper, to taste (check the salt content on the tomato package first)
1/2 c bulgur
3/4 c boiling water, broth or stock
12 oz or so large pasta shells
1 bunch spinach, large stems removed,
2 c or so ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1. Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes or so. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. Gently add tomatoes, and herb(s). Cook, stirring, for about 20 minutes, until thickened, stirring and breaking tomatoes up with a spoon or potato masher. You want a fairly smooth sauce here. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Combine bulgur and boiling liquid in a large bowl. Cover and let stand until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
4. Cook pasta until al dente–don’t let it get too soft. Drain and allow to cool.
5. Cook pasta until wilted, either in a skillet or a steamer. Drain, let cool, and press out as much liquid as you can. Chop, then add to bulgur, along with ricotta cheese, beaten egg, and more salt and pepper, if you like.
6. Put about a cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a large baking vessel. Spoon the bulgur filling into your pasta shape of choice. Arrange in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until bubbling. Let rest for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.