Conchiglioni ripieni di ricotta

Big pasta shells stuffed with ricotta

This stuffing can also be used with cannelloni.

Ingredients

  • 250 g/9 oz conchiglioni
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for the dish
  • 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
  • 6 sage leaves, torn into pieces
  • 150 ml/5 fl oz/ cup double (heavy) cream
  • 50 g/ oz Parmesan, grated

Stuffing

  • 1 slice of crustless white bread, soaked in milk
  • 125 g/ oz ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g/ oz Parmesan, grated
  • 4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • a generous grating of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • a little semolina

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Butter a large, shallow baking dish.

Drop the pasta shells into rapidly boiling salted water and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain well.

While the pasta is cooking, make the stuffing. Squeeze the milk from the bread. Combine the bread with the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, parsley, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper and mix together very thoroughly.

Fill each pasta shell with a little of the mixture and sprinkle the top with semolina. (The semolina acts as a seal.) Lay the shells in the baking dish.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the garlic and the sage; when the butter starts to colour, mix in the cream. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds and then remove the garlic and pour the sauce all over the shells. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Serve the remaining Parmesan in a bowl on the side.

Variations

Omit the nutmeg and cinnamon in the ricotta mixture. Mix in 1 very finely chopped garlic clove and 4 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley. Fill the shells with this mixture and cover with plain tomato sauce before baking.

,