This recipe for baked ricotta pasta shells is a spin-off from the gnocchi with Tomato Sugo. When preparing Sugo, I always like to make a large batch, and use it for a variety of recipes, including this one.
To preserve your tomato sugo, simply pour the boiling hot sauce into hot sterilised glass jars and seal them immediately. These can be stored in the pantry for several months (without taking up valuable freezer space)… and of course, there is no need to defrost!
Pasta shells are under rated, they are so easy to make and easy to cook and bake. For this recipe, we first cook the pasta shells, then pipe a ricotta and cashew filling, cover in sauce and finish with lashings of Parmesan cheese. Delicious filled pasta shells that can be made in no time!
What you will need:
12 – 16 Pasta Shells
2 cups Tomato Sugo
2 cups medium of firm ricotta
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 garlic clove
1 good bunch basil
1 cup of raw spinach or 2-3 k raw kale leaves
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for the filling)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for the topping)
Pre-cook the pasta shells so that they are under cooked. As a rule of thumb, I subtract 2 minutes from the cooking time suggested on the packet. Drain and set aside to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celscius.
In the meantime, using a thermomix or mixer. Finely chop the garlic, basil, cashews, spinach/ or kale, olive oil and Parmesan.
Add the ricotta and nutmeg in to the green mix and using the mixer combine on high until all the ingredients combine into a smooth paste.
Using a small (approx 20 centimeter) baking dish, pour the tomato sumo and spread evenly over the base of the dish.
Fill a piping bag with the ricotta mixture and pipe into each shell until full. Alternatively, you can spoon the mixture into each shell.
Place the filled shells onto the bed of tomato Sugo into the baking tray.
Finish with a good sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.