Stuffed pasta shells

Gennaro Contaldo's large pasta shells are stuffed with a cheesy mix of ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella then baked with a tomato and basil sauce
By Gennaro Contaldo
Stuffed pasta shells
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 16 conchiglioni rigati (large pasta shells)
  • 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 1 balls mozzarella, sliced

For the tomato sauce:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • handful of leaves basil

For the filling:

  • 150 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 balls mozzarella, very finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 16 large leaves basil


1. For make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the garlic and sweat until softened.

2. Add the tomatoes and basil, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and simmer gently for 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta shells and cook until al dente. Drain well, making sure the shells are empty of water, and set aside to cool.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

5. For the filling: Mash the ricotta with a fork in a mixing bowl. Mix in the diced mozzarella and parmesan. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well.

6. Shape the ricotta mixture into 16 balls. Wrap each ball in a basil leaf and place a ricotta ball into each of the cooked pasta shells.

7. Pour a layer of the tomato sauce over the bottom of an ovenproof dish and place the filled shells on top.

8. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce, sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and top with the sliced mozzarella.

9. Cover with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 5 minutes. Serve at once.

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