Ready to go




Surely EVERYONE can make a Spaghetti Bolognese, no? And there are lasagne and macaroni cheese, also family favourites from Italy.  When food gets abbreviated into words like spag bol and mac and cheese, they have become part of the world’s kitchens. So why not experiment with something else that is easy peasy to make, is definitely Italian, smells fabulous, tastes superb, doesn’t cost a fortune and will feed a hungry family–like these stuffed pasta shells? The shells are available at specialist Italian shops in your area—search them out; it is worth it, believe me. The shells are called Conchiglie—pronounced Conkilieh—so now we have both learned something new!! We got ours from Fabio’s Deli in Hermanus, packed with treasures, not to be missed when there.


Tomato base

Ready to bake

Can you smell it?? Yum


Baked Filled Pasta Shells

250g Giant Pasta Shells (make your own if you dare)

1/2tsp salt


Tomato Sauce:

2x400g Chopped tomatoes (can)

50g Tomato Paste

1/2 Onion (finely chopped)

½ glass Dry White Whine

1tsp Origanum

1tsp Thyme

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

Olive oil

1 clove Garlic (chopped)

1 Chili (seeded and chopped)


Cheese Filling for Shells:

1 clove Garlic chopped

Olive oil

1x250g Cottage Cheese (Creamed)

1x250g Cottage Cheese (Chunky)

600g Baby Spinach

150g Hard Cheese – Cheddar, grated

30g Grated Parmesan Cheese


Preheat over to 180C

Cook Pasta shells as indicated on packaging but – 5min less. Drain and put in ice bath to stop cooking process then drain.


Tomato Sauce:


Fry onion on low heat in olive oil until translucent, add garlic and fry – do not caramelize. Add tomato paste and fry until it starts to stick to the pan. Deglaze with white wine and cook off the alcohol – 5min. Add the herbs and heat, then add the canned tomato.  Leave to simmer 10-15min.



Fry garlic in a pan with olive oil on medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted (5-8min).  Remove from heat and cool.

Once cool to the touch put in food processor with cottage cheese and parmesan and pulse until almost smooth.



Spray a shallow baking tray or dish with non-stick baking spray or grease with butter (mainly for cleaning afterwards).

Spoon 2/3 of the tomato sauce into the dish.

Using a piping bag or spoon, spoon the cheese mixture into the pasta shells one by one and place them into the tomato sauce. The neater the better.

Once the tray is full cover with the remainder of the tomato sauce – it will not cover all.

Sprinkle over grated Cheddar and bake at 180C for 40min.