BBC Good Food ME|May 2020
Stuffed pasta bake bolognese
While talking about our favourite pasta dishes, we came up with the idea of combining a couple of favourites – bolognese and stuffed pasta shells – to make the ultimate pasta bake. Nestle the shells deeper down into the sauce for a softer, more lasagne-like dish, if you like, but we enjoy the added crunch of the pasta edges crisped up on top. BBC Good Food cookery team
MAKE IT VEGGIE
Swap mince for diced mixed mushrooms and a can of cooked green lentils, and simmer for an hour before assembling. Use vegetarian cheeses, too.
SERVES 6 PREP 30 mins COOK 2 hrs EASY
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 parmesan, to serve
For the bolognese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
400g beef mince
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tomato purée
3 bay leaves
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes pinch of sugar
1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 To make the bolognese, heat the oil in a wide ovenproof pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion, celery and carrot with some seasoning for 20 mins until soft and lightly golden. Tip in the beef mince, turn up the heat and fry, stirring regularly, for another 10 mins until the mince browns. Add the garlic, fry for a minute, then pour in the wine and bubble for a few mins more, scraping the pan to release any bits. Stir through the purée, bay leaves and tomatoes, with a canful of water. Simmer for 11/2 hrs, covered for the first hour, then remove the lid and bubble until the tomatoes have broken down. Season with salt, pepper, the sugar and balsamic vinegar.
2 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.
3 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 4 and drain the pasta. Use a fork to mash the mascarpone with the mozzarella, chopped basil, garlic and some black pepper in a bowl.
4 The bolognese should be a little wetter than you’d like as the pasta shells will absorb some of the liquid as it bakes. 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 index finger. 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 parmesan and finish with a few basil leaves.
GOOD TO KNOW calcium • 2 of 5-a-day
PER SERVING 630 kcals • fat 37g • saturates 21g • carbs 34g • sugars 10g • fibre 4g • protein 30g • salt 0.7g
Slow-cooked pork & sage hotpot
Growing up in the north-west, hotpot and meat pies were a weekly staple in our house; steak and kidney pudding, Lancashire hotpot, and creamy chicken and leek pie were some of my favourite dishes. When I moved to London, I wanted to combine all my favourites into one pie and came up with a silky, slow-cooked pork filling flavoured with cider and sage beneath a crispy, crunchy layer of potatoes, like the sort that tops a traditional hotpot. I make this frequently for friends in the winter when you need something that sticks to your ribs and puts a smile on your face. Anna Glover, acting food editor
SERVES 6 PREP 40 mins COOK 3 hrs MORE EFFORT
4 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra
1kg diced pork shoulder
20g butter, cubed, plus a little extra
4 leeks, trimmed and thickly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp plain flour
400ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
½ small bunch parsley, finely chopped small bunch sage, leaves picked,
5 left whole, the rest chopped 200ml single cream 400g Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
400g sweet potatoes
1 Heat half of the oil in a deep ovenproof frying pan, or flameproof casserole dish, and fry the pork pieces over a medium high heat in batches until seared all over, then transfer to a plate. Add another 1 tbsp oil to the pan, if you need to, while you’re cooking the batches. Once all the pork is seared, transfer to a plate and set aside.
2 Add another 1 tbsp oil to the pan with a little butter and fry half the leeks with a pinch of salt for 10 mins until tender. Add the garlic, fry for a minute, then stir in the flour.
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