Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stuffed pasta shell bake

If you haven't already noticed, pasta/noodles are my all time favourite food. I could happily subsist solely on these carbohydrates, if it wasn't for the fact that I would turn into an anaemic wreck (not to mention the host of other awful health issues that such a diet would bring!).

It is probably not surprising then that different pasta shapes and sizes make me giddy with excitement. Every time my local supermarket has a sale on their artisan pasta, I go carb-crazy and stock up for the end of time...or something like that. My most recent purchase was a packet of conchiglioni (better known as giant pasta shells). With some beef mince in the freezer, a sole zucchini in the fridge and a few pantry staples, the Fabfood'n'frolicking stuffed pasta shell bake was born.

Stuffed pasta shell bake
Serves 4
1 x 500g packet conchiglioni (giant pasta shells) 
1 Tbs olive oil
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
500g beef mince
1 zucchini (coarsely chopped)
400ml pasata
2 tsp hot paprika
1 bunch basil (coarsely chopped)
a handful of mozzarella 
a handful of parmesan
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 150ยบC.
2. Cook pasta until very al dente (i.e. you wouldn't hesitate to send it back if it was served at a restaurant). Drain and set aside. 
3. In the meantime, heat oil in a saucepan and fry onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.
4. Add beef and cook for another few minutes, followed by the zucchini. 
5. Stir through the pasata and paprika and season to taste. Allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes. 
6. When you're happy with the level of spice and flavour, throw in the basil and remove from heat. 
7. Allow meat mixture to cool down a wee bit (a few minutes should suffice) unless you have "asbestos fingers" (that's a "mum-ism").
8. Lay pasta out in the sort of oven dish you'd use for lasagne and spoon the meat mixture into each so:

9.  Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.

10. Bake for around 40 minutes. Finish under the grill for lots of nice crispy bits on top.

As always, enjoy!


  1. That is some good food pron because I just want to reach through the screen and eat that. Yum!

    1. Hehehe...thanks, mate! By the way, am super impressed with your recovery - what a star! :)