You won’t notice the lack of meat in these delicious vegetarian stuffed pasta shells. Fecotta makes a yummy alternative to ricotta, if you can find it in your local supermarket.
I’ve just realised this is the third week in a row I’ve included a recipe with the word ‘stuffed’ in the title! Last week we had spinach and feta stuffed lamb and the week before that was stuffed beef schnitzel. I can promise you that there are no ‘stuffed’ recipes next week (just a ‘loaded’ one).
I found the jumbo pasta shells for this recipe at one of my local fruit and veggie stores (Simply Fresh). Don’t worry if you can’t find these – you can use cannelloni or lasagne sheets instead.
Fecotta (YOLO brand) is another less common ingredient – it’s a delicious cross between feta and ricotta, but more similar in taste to ricotta (which is a great alternative, if your local store doesn’t stock fecotta). Do you think the name sounds rude? I didn’t until my mum made a comment about it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this meal in the comments below.
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You’ll forget all about the absence of meat with these delicious vegetarian stuffed pasta shells. Fecotta makes a yummy alternative to ricotta, if you can find it in your local supermarket.
Preheat oven to 200ºC (390ºF) bake. Line an oven tray with baking paper (for croutons).
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add pasta shells and boil for 12 minutes, until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside until ready to use.
While pasta is cooking, make filling. Microwave spinach for 3 minutes, until defrosted. Place in a colander and squeeze excess water out. Dice onion and crush garlic.
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add spinach, onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Whisk together soup, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and oregano. Season with a little salt and pepper. Pour half the sauce into the bottom of a 25cm square baking dish.
Crumble fecotta into spinach mixture. Stir in 1 cup of cheddar and the yoghurt and nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper. Stuff mixture into pasta shells and arrange on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Pour over the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheddar. Bake for 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden on top.
Brush bread all over with oil and season with salt. Cut into small cubes and place on prepared tray. Bake (below pasta) for 8 minutes, until golden (keep an eye on them).
Whisk together vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard for dressing. Season with a little salt and pepper. Slice avocado. Combine avocado, rocket, sprouts and basil (if using) in a salad bowl.
Spoon out portions of pasta and serve with salad. Drizzle salad with dressing and top with croutons.
*Fecotta is a cross between feta and ricotta cheeses. If you can’t find it you can use ricotta instead (a 200g tub is fine).
WINE MATCH: Try a Pinot Gris.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: You can make cannelloni from gluten-free lasagne sheets instead of using shells. Cook the lasagne sheets (stirring often to prevent sticking) and roll up to enclose filling. Make sure soup is gluten-free. Use gluten-free bread for the croutons.
INGREDIENT SWAPS: If you can’t find the pasta shells, you can use cannelloni tubes instead. To make filling them easier you don’t have to cook them first; however, you will need to bake the pasta for longer (around 45 minutes). Cover with foil for the first 30 minutes to prevent burning. As mentioned above, ricotta can be used in place of fecotta (a 200g tub is fine).
MAKE IT MEATY: Bacon is a delicious addition to this dish. Dice (200-250g) and cook with the spinach, onion and garlic.
STORING AND REHEATING: Keep pasta separate from salad. Keep croutons in an airtight container. Reheat pasta in the microwave and dress salad just before serving.