Baked pasta shells stuffed with cheese, tomato and fennel sauce
Bursting with Italian flavours, this impressive yet simple recipe takes the humble pasta bake to the next level.
For the pasta and filling
For the sauce
To make the pasta and filling, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water until ‘al dente’ following pack instructions. Drain.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the shallots and fennel for 10 minutes, or until softened. Remove from the heat and cool. Stir in the Parmesan, ricotta and the oregano, taste and season with salt and pepper. Place the mixture into a piping bag and fill each pasta shell with it.
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the fennel and garlic for 10 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomatoes, oregano, olives and passata and simmer for another 10 minutes, until softened, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C/Gas 6. Tip the sauce into a baking dish and spread it out in an even layer, then top with the filled shells. Drizzle with olive oil and cover in foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot all the way through.
To serve, sprinkle over some grated Parmesan, a scattering of fresh oregano leaves and the reserved fennel fronds.