Shellicious Pasta Ragu
Combine two favourites – ragu and stuffed pasta shells – to make the ultimate pasta bake. Serve bubbling from the oven for true comfort food. Listen closely to the shells as they whisper sweet nothings into your ear..
For the pasta shells
- 250g large pasta shells or conchiglioni
- 200g mascarpone
- 2 x 125g balls mozzarella, drained and finely chopped
- large bunch basil, roughly chopped, plus a few whole leaves to serve
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- Parmigiano Reggiano
For the sauce
- 250g minced beef
- 250g minced pork
- 500g Tagliatelle
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 60g tomato purée
- 250ml Good Red wine
- 10 Fresh Basil leaves finely chopped
- 500g Tomato passata
- 5 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Parmigiano Reggiano to serve
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and fry the garlic for a few minutes until golden, then crumble the meat between your fingertips and add to the pan and fry until brown – around 10 minutes. Add the red wine and simmer for a further 5 minutes until it has reduced.
Now stir in the passata and tomato purée. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 3 hours until reduced and thickened and always remember to stir the sauce throughout. This gives you plenty of time to have an espresso, glass of wine and romance your loved one while you wait 😉
Once cooked, remove from the hob, taste and season with salt and pepper again if needed.
Tip the pasta shells into a large heatproof bowl with a pinch of salt, and pour over a kettle of boiled water. Cover and leave to soften for 15-20 mins – they need to retain some firmness so you can fill them.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C and drain the pasta. Use a fork to mash the mascarpone with the mozzarella, chopped basil, garlic and some black pepper in a bowl.
Remove from the heat, giving it a final stir. Using a teaspoon, fill the pasta shells with some of the mascarpone mixture, pressing the mix in with your fingers. Nestle the shells into the sauce, filled-side up. Bake for 20-30 mins until the top is golden and bubbling, and the pasta is tender. Grate over some parmigiana reggiano and finish with a few basil leaves. Buon Appetito…