Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Pasta Shells Stuffed with Mushrooms and Squash

This dish came into being as I had a whole punnet of chestnut mushrooms that needed using up and couldn't think what to make. I initially though I'd make a lasagne or cannelloni, but then spotted the conchiglioni pasta I'd bought and not known what to do with, at the back of the larder. Be warned, this recipe uses a lot of pans, and is a bit faffy to make, but I think it tastes good enough to serve up as a vegetarian dinner party dish, so it's worth the effort (and the washing up!). If you want to impress your guests, call the dish: Conchiglioni ripieni al forno (baked, stuffed pasta shells).

The main dish is vegan, and can be topped with either dairy or non-dairy cheese.

Serves 4

The pasta and stuffing
  • Conchiglioni (large pasta shalls) - allow around 2-4 shells per child and 4-6 shells per adult
  • 200g/8oz chestnut mushrooms, diced finely
  • 200g/8oz butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1cm/½" cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 8-10 sage leaves, chopped (add more if you love the taste of sage)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
The sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • 500ml/1pt pasata
  • 1 tin chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp sugar
To top
  • 125g/5oz soft goats cheese plus 50g/2oz grated mozzarella OR
  • 150g/6oz melting vegan cheese plus 2 tbsp vegan Parmesan
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep baking dish at 180C/170C Fan/ Gas 4/350F.
Add the diced butternut squash and sage and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once.
Take the dish out of the oven.
Meanwhile, heat another tbsp of olive oil in a large pan.
Add the onion and cook on a gentle heat until soft.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add the squash, sage  and sun-dried tomato paste and cook for a further 5 minutes. Increase the heat and cook until you have a fairly dry mixture.
Season to taste.

Boil the pasta shells for 10 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water.

Stuff the pasta with the mushroom and squash mixture, using a teaspoon, and place them in the bottom of the baking dish you cooked the squash in.

Make the tomato sauce in another pan.
Heat a further tbsp of olive oil and gently cook the onion and garlic.
Add the passata, sugar, tinned tomatoes, and oregano.
Simmer for 10 minutes (the sauce should be quite thin at this stage). 

Pour the tomato sauce over the stuffed pasta shells (they need to be covered).
Top with the dairy or non-dairy cheese and return to the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the tomato sauce has thickened and the cheese is golden brown.
Remove from the oven, cover dish with foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with garlic bread and/or salad.

Suitable for freezing before baking. Add the cheese topping after defrosting.

You could use pretty much any combination of diced vegetables to stuff the pasta.
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  1. Ooh that sounds delicious, thank you for linking up :)

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  3. This looks so delicious! Well done! :D

  4. A really hearty dish Lisa. I love butternut squash and sage together - its a perfect combination!

    1. Me too Jacqueline... in fact I love butternut squash with just about anything!


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