Conchiglione bake.

Conchiglione are giant pasta shells, the perfect vessel to stuff with creamy ricotta & fresh spinach. If that's not delicious enough i like to nestle them in a garlicky tomato sauce and oven bake them with slices of oozy bubbling mozzarella. If you can't find the shells cannelloni tubes work equally well here. This is a great dish to set on the table and allow everyone to dig in!

This dish easily serves 4,

Here's how........



Ingredients

approx 30 conchiglione pasta shells (usually around 1/2 pack)

250g tub ricotta cheese

240g pack spinach

1/2 tsp finely grated nutmeg

1 grated garlic clove

1 egg yolk

50g grated parmesan

150g ball mozzarella


Sauce ingredients

2 tins cherry tomatoes

3 garlic cloves

1 small glass red wine

100g pancetta

1 large finely chopped red onion

3 fat grated garlic cloves

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp white sugar

1/4 tube tomato puree

good plug olive oil

(boiling water to top up)

torn basil leaves


Method.


Preheat oven to 180c

  1. fry pancetta in olive oil until fat goes crispy

  2. gently fry garlic and onion until softening (don't allow to colour)

  3. add tomato puree and cook for a minute.

  4. add wine, stir and allow to bubble up for a minute.

  5. add tomatoes, oregano, and sugar.

  6. add approx 1 cup of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  7. set a large saucepan of salted boiling water on high heat to boil.

  8. add the full bag of spinach to the boiling water, gently stir until it wilts (10 seconds usually does it)

  9. scoop out spinach onto a clean tea towel to cool.

  10. add pasta to the same boiling water, cook until its flexible enough to stuff but has plenty of bite.

  11. rinse pasta in cool water to halt cooking and drizzle in olive oil to avoid sticking.

  12. now roll cooled spinach in the tea towel and wring out all the water.

  13. finely chop the spinach.

  14. add spinach to ricotta with garlic, nutmeg, egg yolk, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste and mash to combine well.

  15. stuff shells with 1 teaspoon of mixture and arrange on top of tomato sauce.

  16. place lid on pan or cover with foil and cook for 15 minutes.

  17. remove from oven and add thin slices of mozzarella to the top and return uncovered to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes. The top should be melted and bubbling.


Scatter with torn basil leaves and serve with a crunchy green salad, and maybe have a go at my focaccia?



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