Feta and Herb Stuffed Shells

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, chopped in processor with juices
1 cup chopped fresh basil

2 15-ounce containers ricotta cheese
14 ounces feta cheese, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 fresh chive bunches, chopped
2 eggs

1 12-ounce package jumbo pasta shells
Fresh basil sprigs

For sauce: Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and saute 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Simmer until sauce is reduced to 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix in basil.

For filling: Combine ricotta, 1 1/3 cups feta, 1/2 cup chopped basil and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.

Cook shells in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly.

Preheat oven 350F. Spread 3/4 cup sauce over bottom of each of two 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dishes. Fill 30 shells and divide between dishes. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining feta. Bake shells until heated through, about 30 minutes. Garnish with basil sprigs.

Cooking with Basil

Cooking with Basil

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