I never made filled large pasta shells before so I had to change that, didn’t I? I also wanted a vegan version but didn’t want to use nutritional yeast because sometimes that can make foods really heavy. I wanted to keep it more lighter, clean & easy too. So, I made this: MMM!
Recipe: For 3 big portions
1 bottle of 700 gr smooth tomato passata ( = passata is an uncooked tomato puree that has been strained of seeds and skins. )
1 bottle of 700 gr tomato passata with smaller tomato pieces
1 tablespoon double tomato concentrate
1 big red onion, peeled & finely sliced into wedges
3 fat garlic cloves, peeled & finely cut up
150 gr oyster mushrooms, cleaned & cut into bite-sized chunks
180 gr brown mushrooms, cleaned & cut into bite-sized chunks
350 gr seitan mince
270 gr big pasta shells: 100% durum wheat
Maldon sea salt
Spanish spicy smoked paprika: pimentón picanté: 3 teaspoons
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 teaspoons of dried basil
2 teaspoons dark cane sugar
1. Firstly, cook your big pasta shells in salted boiling water according to your packet instructions. Mine were cooked after 11 minutes. Drain well & with your hands, pull the shells from each other,placing them side by side with the holes upwards, to cool off a bit & to fill them up splendidly later on.
2. At the same time, take a large cooking pot & pour the 2 passatas in it. Add 3 teaspoons of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt & 10 grins of finely milled black pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of double tomato concentrate. Cook on higher heat. I added 2 teaspoons of dark cane sugar to prevent tasting that bitter flavour. Stir often to prevent burning. Reduce the sauce for about 10 minutes. Taste! You will end up with a basic tomato sauce, mildly seasoned but yummy. You also end up with a lot of sauce, but don’t worry , you are going to need it all! 🙂 Keep warm.
3. At the same time, sauté your garlic & red onion wedges with 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme, in some hot sunflower oil, in a larger pan, until nearly cooked through. Stir often. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt & 5 grins milled black pepper. Now, add the cut up oyster mushrooms to the hot pan & add 1 teaspoon of the smoked picanté paprika powder & stir everything well around in the pan. Fry until al dente & fragrant. Transfer this lot to a large pot with fitting lid, to keep seperate. Now, pour a swirl or two of sunflower oil & add brown mushrooms. Add 1 teaspoon of smoked picanté ( spicy ) paprika & sauté until cooked though. The house will smell amazing & rich when you are doing this. Transfer to the rest of the fried veggies pot. Now, add your seitan mince & fry for a few minutes until browned. Pour drizzles of extra sunflower oil to the pan, if you ned to. Add 1 teaspoon of picanté smoked paprika & season with a bit of sea salt & black pepper. The seitan mince has to taste divine! 🙂 Add this to the veggie mix & pour the hot tomato basil sauce over the veggie mix in the pot. Mix carefully with large spoon. Taste! It all should taste divine & yummy!
4. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425 F ) for 10 minutes. I always use a fan oven. Adjust your oven to the right temperature. Take 2 oven dishes & pour a layer of the veggies-seitan-tomato sauce over the base of each oven dish. Take the large cooked pasta shells & fill them with the mix, fill them up really good. Tuck each filled pasta shell, nicely,cosy besides each other. Pour a thin layer of the veggies-seitan-tomato sauce over the filled pasta shells, in each oven dish. But not too much sauce, you must still see bits of the edges of your filled pasta shells. Now, your sauce is all used up! 🙂 Bake in hot oven for about 20 minutes until nicely baked & browned. The sauce on the inside of each oven dish has reduced & is all nice a yummy too! 😉 Plate up & give each person, per plate, 4 stuffed shells to begin with & pour the hot sauce over it & enjoy it !!! Enjoy, my lovely ones!
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