Cheesy stuffed giant pasta shells


Well hello there - you are definitely justified in thinking I have dropped off the face of the earth, but I'm still heeeeere! It has been a seriously long while, but I am so fkng excited to say I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the book. I can't believe it - I have been helped and supported by so many amazing people, for a 'solo' endeavour it has been a massive team effort. Any way, I still have six weeks to go, so mustn't get ahead of myself, I'm just starting to feel like this book might actually really happen.

Meanwhile - cheesy goodness squashed into pasta shells and baked in a tomato passata - not much more to say really, other than it is really bloody good. To prove that miracles do exist my 'sausages-and-mash' man Rich has become fully vegetarian over the last year - and this is one of the dishes that he requests when he is home, (and that I have sent frozen in containers to his flat!), I guess because it has that same feel-good, comfort factor. Dear old darling, he has taken on a mountain of commitments in Welly - what with study, work, basketball and acting in a local production - I am full of motherly concern! Across the Tasman Henry's life has been given a full shake up - having had his course at Mercer Design School suddenly cancelled (grrrrrr) his employer has now gone into receivership (ffs) so he is now also without a job. So - the mother of all double-whammies. I am so proud to say he has barely faltered in his stride, and instead is looking at an exciting new enterprise while doing some final touches to the (almost finished) book. Thank God for the steady Will at his side!

Right then, because I am the world's most pedantic perfectionist (yoga flow let-it-go stuff not withstanding), I am off to re-shoot two recipes for the book this morning. Dammit if I only ever do one, I may as well get it right....(or at least 90% anyway...ommmmm).







400grams ricotta
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 egg
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
24 conchiglioni shells (250g, big pasta shells available at specialty food shops, I use the ones that don't need any pre-cooking)
400gram tin cherry tomatoes
400gram tin crushed and sieved tomatoes
½ cup dry white wine
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Put ricotta, mozzarella, 2/3 cup Parmesan, and egg in a bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour cherry tomatoes and sieved tomatoes into a 23cm x 32cm baking dish. Stir in wine, garlic, sugar and chilli flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon ricotta mixture into shells and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and cook a further 15 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with a small green bitter salad. Serves 4

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