RECIPE | BAKED TOMATO PASTA SHELLS (VEGETARIAN)
If you're looking for a baked pasta dish but you're tired of making lasagna, this is it. Conchiglioni is another term for large seashell pasta. This meal is perfect for those who love fresh mozzarella cheese, sweet tomato sauce, basil and garlic. Think of it as a Margherita Pizza but in pasta form. It only takes 35 minutes to bake and about 25 minutes to prepare. The ingredients are few and it's a wonderful main for vegetarians.
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BAKED TOMATO PASTA SHELLS
SERVES 2 | PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOK TIME 35 MINS ADAPTED FROM GENNARO CONTALDO
- 10 CONCHIGLIONI SHELLS (THESE COME IN BOXES OF 20 OR MORE)
- 10 2 INCH FRESH MOZZARELLA BALLS
- 16 FRESH BASIL LEAVES
- 4-6 GARLIC CLOVES MINCED
- 1 400 ML CAN OF SWEET DICED TOMATOES
- 1 TEASPOON OF SALT
- 1/2 OF TEASPOON OF PEPPER
- 2 TABLESPOONS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small pot, boil pasta to Al Dente by following package instructions (approximately 12-14 minutes and no more)
- Meanwhile in another small sauce pan set on low heat, fry your minced garlic in olive oil for 30 seconds without burning it
- Add in tomato sauce, salt, pepper and 6 basil leaves
- Allow sauce to boil on medium high heat for 5 minutes and remove off stove
- Pour 1 ladle of the sauce into a casserole dish (7 x 7 inches approximately)
- Now time to stuff your seashell pasta.
- Wrap one mozzarella ball with one basil leaf. Together insert that into the seashell pasta (see below for pictures)
- Lay each stuffed shell on the tomato sauce. Repeat until complete.
- With remaining tomato sauce, cover the stuffed shells 3/4 of the way. Do not drown them.
- Cover your casserole dish with lid and bake for 35 minutes
- Remove from oven and allow it to cool. Serve with some grated parmigiana cheese