Baked pasta shells

Giant pasta shells were a new one for me – I don’t know how I have lived without them for so long!
Definitely worth a little extra effort as they taste amazing!   
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course dinner, lunch, maincourse
Cuisine Pasta, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people


  • 1 onion peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 sweet pepper deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 500 g passata
  • 100 ml vegetable stock
  • 20 large pasta shells
  • 170 g garlic soft cheese I use Philadelphia garlic and herbs
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 handful spinach finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp parmesan grated
  • 1 garlic bread
  • 1 bag mixed salad leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt


  • Heat some oil in pan; add the onion and pepper slices – gently cook until completely softened (10 minutes)
  • Add the garlic – fry for another minute before pouring over the passata and vegetable stock
  • Simmer for 15 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • While the sauce is simmering, put a pan of salted water on to boil; once boiling add the pasta and cook until al’dente. Drain (reserving a small ladle full of cooking water) and set aside to cool
  • Mix the garlic soft cheese, crème fraiche, spinach and plenty of black pepper in a bowl
  • Spoon the mixture into the cooled shells (don’t overfill or you won’t have enough)
  • Taste the sauce and season if necessary
  • Pour a layer of the tomato sauce over the bottom of an ovenproof dish; place the filled shells on top.
  • Pour over the remaining tomato sauce, sprinkle over the parmesan and cover with aluminium foil; bake for 20 minutes
  • Check the timings for the garlic bread and pop it in the oven
  • Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 5 minutes
  • Toss the salad leaves with the oil, a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper
Keyword cookingforfamily, cookingforkids, familyfood, pastarecipes
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