This pasta bake, with ricotta filled conchiglioni (giant pasta shells) in spicy, tangy tomato sauce, is one of my favourite pasta recipes. It is simple to make, yet feels luxurious and special thanks to the creamy cheesy filling in each shell, which goes oh-so well with the spicy tomato sauce. It’s a perfect recipe to cook for friends, as you can prepare it in advance and bake at the last minute, and they’ll never know how easy it was to do! But don’t feel like you have to share: it feels just as satisfying as a mid-week or Friday night treat, before cosying up in front of the TV.
Baked ricotta stuffed conchiglioni (giant pasta shells) recipe
Serves 3, cooking time 45 mins
375g ricotta cheese
25g parmesan, grated
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Black pepper (to season)
fresh basil leaves (you’ll need enough to put one in each pasta shell)
For the tomato sauce:
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
½ tsp hot chilli powder
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs of dried oregano
1 tsp pesto
Salt & pepper (to season)
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
To make the tomato sauce, add all sauce ingredients to a pan, and mix well.
Bring the sauce to the boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer until you’re ready to assemble the bake.
In a separate pan, boil the conchiglioni according to the pack instructions. Be careful not to over-cook it, as the shells will fall apart when you try to stuff them.
Meanwhile, mix the ricotta cheese, parmesan, nutmeg and black pepper together in a bowl, and set aside.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and rinse through with cold water so it’s cool enough to handle.
Prepare an ovenproof dish with a little of the tomato sauce spread across the bottom, to stop the pasta from sticking.
Carefully fill each shell with a basil leaf and a teaspoon of the ricotta cheese mixture, and place it in the dish.
Repeat with all of the shells, then cover them with the remaining tomato sauce, and top with any leftover basil leaves.
Bake for 20 mins, then serve straight away, with grated parmesan and black pepper, for cheesy perfection!