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Spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells

Here is a sneak peek recipe from my latest book, Eat More, Live Well. Enjoy!
Coming from an Italian family, homemade ravioli has always been part of our celebrations. But after moving to London and realizing I didn’t have the time or skill, it was either forgo one of my favourites or conjure up an easier and quicker alternative . . . and so these delicious stuffed pasta shells were born. I couldn’t let my microbes miss out on the feast, so I’ve ensured they contain over a third of your daily fibre needs and prebiotics too.

Dinner, Lunch

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Spinach and ricotta stuffed pasta shells
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Ingredients

Rich tomato sauce:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, grated 10 sundried tomato halves, preserved in oil, chopped (approx. 85g) 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 20g basil, roughly chopped 200g passata

Stuffed pasta:

250g fresh spinach 24 conchiglie shells or 12 cannelloni tubes (about 175g) 1 x 400g tin of mixed beans, drained and rinsed 120g peas, fresh or frozen 250g ricotta 150g feta, crumbled

Toppers:

20g pine nuts 20g Parmesan, grated

Method

Step 1:

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until aromatic and then add the sundried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, 100ml water, basil, passata and season to taste. Cook on a low heat for around 15 minutes with the lid off.

Step 2:

In the meantime, make the pasta filling by heating a large saucepan and adding the spinach with a splash of water. Place a lid on and let the spinach wilt for a couple of minutes. Then transfer to a sieve and squeeze out the excess water before placing in a food processor. Add the beans and peas, and blitz until roughly smooth (approx. 2 minutes). Stir in the ricotta and feta.

Step 3:

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Step 4:

Lightly oil an ovenproof dish (approx. 25cm x 30cm). Pour in the cooked rich tomato sauce and spread out in an even layer.

Step 5:

Rinse the saucepan and fill with water. Bring to the boil and cook the pasta shells for 2 minutes less than the pack instructions, so they’re just cooked and holding their shape. Drain the shells and, once they’re cool enough to handle, stuff them with the filling and place all the filled shells in the tomato sauce.

Step 6:

Scatter the pine nuts and grated Parmesan over the top and bake for approx. 20 minutes until golden brown.

Tips:

Short on time? Scrap the tomato sauce recipe and use your favourite ready-made tomato and basil pasta sauce.

Storage:

Keeps in the fridge for 3 days. The uncooked filling can keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in fridge, then stuff your shells and cook following the recipe instructions.

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