Beef Stuffed Pasta Shells

Beef stuffed pasta shell on fork

If ever you wanted to hide a tonne of veggies, then this beef stuffed pasta shell bake is exactly what you need!

Lockdown (sorry to mention it again!) was the perfect excuse to experiment with food. It was also a time when we struggled to get the most basic of items and therefore had to make to with what we had in the fridge. This was one such dish.

We had fairly good luck in getting our weekly shop delivered to us during lockdown, however, it did mean that we sometimes ended up buying vegetables in varying quantities based on what the store had available. One such item was carrots. I only buy a few loose carrots at a time, but unfortunately during lockdown, this option wasn’t available and we had to make do with a kg bag. I had to get creative on how I used said carrots as my hubby isn’t very keen on the cooked version of this sweet speared root vegetable.

One way of using it in a sneaky was was to add it to sauces that will cook down or got blended. This worked a treat and added a bit of sweetness to this yummy pasta dish.

Now since we were in lockdown and I did have time on my hands, I decided to mince my own beef. This way I can not only control the amount of fat but also the texture of the meat. Of course you don’t have to go overboard like I do, but sometimes it is rather nice as it makes me feel like I have accomplished something different.

Not so veggie sauce

This hidden veg sauce has it all! It packs a total flavour punch with carrots, onion, garlic, tomatoes, courgette and mushrooms. But then, the secret ingredient, bacon hits you on the tip of your tongue to take your tastebuds to smokey central.

Stuffing the shells

I’ve used the largest pasta shells I could find and therefore meant that it was easy to fill without a lot of fuss.

I simply used a teaspoon to spoon the beef mince into the shells, then used the back of the spoon to pack the meat tightly into the shell.

Since the shells aren’t cooked yet, you need to ensure that it is covered in sauce to allow for enough moisture. I’ve placed the bacon vegetable sauce at the bottom before placing the shells on top and smothering it in cheese sauce. Once baked it is not saucy at all, but the pasta is tender.

These beef stuffed pasta shells tastes like a sophisticated spaghetti and meatballs… Nah! Just kidding! These are so much better.

Stuffed pasta shells baked in a cheese sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

    Vegetable sauce
  • 250g bacon, chopped and some reserved for topping
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 courgette, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 200 mushrooms, chopped
  • Filled pasta

  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • large conchiglie
  • Cheese sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • pinch mustard powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Topping

  • 50g bacon, reserved from vegetable sauce
  • 50g parmesan cheese

Directions

    Preheat the oven to 180℃.

    Vegetable sauce

  1. Sauté all the bacon in a bit of butter, reserve about 50 grams for the topping later.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, courgette, carrot and mushrooms and cook until all vegetables are tender.
  3. Spoon the vegetables into an oven proof dish.
  4. Filled pasta

  5. Mix the beef, herbs, garlic and seasoning in a glass bowl.
  6. With a teaspoon, spoon the mixture into the dry pasta shells and place on top of the vegetable sauce in the oven proof dish.
  7. Cheese sauce

  8. Melt the butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour until it makes a thick paste.
  9. Slowly whisk in the milk, keeping the sauce on a low heat.
  10. Once the sauce has thickened, season with salt, pepper and mustard powder and add the cheese. Whisk gently until all the cheese has melted.
  11. Pour over the stuffed shells.
  12. Topping

  13. Scatter with parmesan and reserved bacon.
  14. Place in the oven for 45 minutes until pasta is cooked through.
  15. Let the pasta dish stand for 10 minutes before serving.

How about some other pasta dishes?

Butternut and chicken stuffed cannelloni (instant pot)

Pasta provides a kind of comfort that very few foods do. Not only is this dish healthy, it is also comforting on every level.

Chicken Pasta bake with Cream of Tomato Soup

This used to be my most favourite Tuna and Spinach tagliatelle dish of all time.  Then I became allergic to fish and moved to the UK where spinach tagliatelle are hard to come by so I had to adapt…

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