Date posted: 13/09/2019

Ricotta pasta bake in a pork ragù

  • Serves 4
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For the ragù:
Olive oil 4 tbsps
Garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 2
Spicy sausages, skins removed and crumbled 6
Cirio chopped tomatoes 800g
Fresh basil leaves 4 tbsps
For the bake:
Large pasta shells 24
Ricotta cheese 200g
Lemon (zest of) 1
120g balls mozzarella cheese, broken into small pieces 2
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated 5 tbsps
Large basil leaves 24


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  This wonderfully moreish dish is based on the classic Caccavelle alla Sorrentina. One enormous pasta shell that is filled with pork, ricotta and mozzarella and baked in a thick tomato sauce. If you cannot get hold of Caccavelle, large pasta shells are a great alternative.
  1. To make the ragù, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based frying pan with the garlic and cook for 2 minutes until golden. Add the sausage meat and fry for a further 5 minutes until browned. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pan of salted water and cook the pasta shells according to packet instructions. Drain well and set aside to cool.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (fan assisted)/375ºF/Gas Mark 6.
  4. To make the filling, place the ricotta cheese into a large mixing bowl and add the lemon zest. Combine well with a fork and stir in half the mozzarella cheese and 2 tbsps of parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper. Tuck a basil leaf into each pasta shell followed by a heaped teaspoon of the ricotta cheese mixture.
  5. Pour a layer of the ragù onto the bottom of a large ovenproof baking dish. Place the stuffed pasta shells on top. Pour over the rest of the ragù and top with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  6. Take off the foil and return to the oven for 5 minutes until golden.
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