Baked conchiglioni pasta shells with dolcelatte / Gusci di pasta conchiglioni al forno con dolcelatte
Conchiglioni are a typical southern Italian pasta, originating from Campania. Italians usually serve pasta as a first course (primo piatto) on special occasions and then follow it with a meat or fish main course. Therefore, especially nowadays, many prefer to use a vegetarian pasta recipe, rather than meat. It just makes the meal lighter. Of course, this pasta shells recipe with cheese is also great for vegetarians.” Jacqueline De Bono
- Ingredients: Serves 4
- 250 g conchiglioni pasta shells you can also use lumaconi
- For the filling
- 150 g vegetarian dolcelatte soft cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- salt for pasta, tomato sauce and to taste
- black pepper to taste
- For tomato sauce
- 3-4 tbsp good olive oil for cooking
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 250 g fresh datterini or cherry tomatoes cut in half –400 g tomato passata ¬– For serving –400 g broccoli heads cut from the stems –8 tbsp of breadcrumbs –50 g vegetarian pecorino cheese grated
- To make the filling: In a bowl mix the dolcelatte cheese, the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper as required.
- Cook the pasta: Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt when it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Add the pasta shells and cook a little less than the time required for al dente, then drain and let the pasta cool, inverted on a tray or board. (It is better to separate the shells before they cool as they may stick together).
- Cook the broccoli: Cook the broccoli either in a saucepan or a steamer for 8 to 10 minutes until fork tender. Drain the water and transfer the broccoli to a bowl, cover and keep warm.
- Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the whole peeled garlic cloves and cook until they start to soften. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook on a medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and stir and stir. When the tomatoes begin to soften lower the heat and use a fork to gently press the tomatoes to squash them and release their juices. Stir often and cook until they are completely soft. Add the tomato passata, stir and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the garlic when the sauce is ready.
- Put the dish together: Cover the bottom of an oven dish with some of the tomato sauce. With the help of a teaspoon, take a little of the cheese and egg filling and fill each conchiglioni, then place it on the sauce in the oven dish. Place them close together. Carefully place the broccoli heads over the top of the pasta shells. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the shells and into the sides of the oven dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the sauce and finish with a sprinkling of Pecorino, then bake in a preheated oven at 180°C Fan / 200°C / gas mark 6 for about 20 minutes until the top starts to brown. Serve immediately.
- NOTES: This recipe can be made without tomato sauce if you wish to serve the pasta shells as finger-food. Just butter the oven dish and put a little béchamel on top of the shells with a sprinkling of Parmigiano. You can also serve the shells in individual portions using small oven-proof dishes.