Stuffed Pasta Shells
150g Conchiglioni pasta (5 shells per person)
250g Minced pork (or beef or lamb, if you prefer...I used pork)
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
250g Béchamel sauce (you can use ready-made)
I used white sauce, it's the same thing.
3 tablespoon Olive Oil
½ onion (finely chopped)
½ onion (finely chopped)
50g freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 basil leaves
(I took some from my basil plant which is decorated with Halloween bats and pumpkins!)
Salt & pepper to taste
Parboil the pasta in salted boiling water for approx. 5 minutes. Drain and place on a cloth to cool down.
In a large frying pan fry the onion in 2 tablespoon of olive oil until golden brown. Add in the pork mince and mix well allowing the meat to crumble. Cook stirring frequently for 15 minutes until the meat has browned. Once ready leave to cool.
Once the pork has cooled down pour half of the cold béchamel sauce in the pan and mix with the minced pork.
Pour the chopped tomatoes in a small saucepan and heat through. When bubbling, add the remaining olive oil, the basil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for no longer than 3 minutes.
Place the tomato sauce in the bottom of a ceramic dish, this will prevent the conchiglioni shells from sticking.
Using a tablespoon, fill the conghiglioni shells with the pork mixture and gently place in the ceramic dish, making sure each shell isn’t too close together. Do this until the tray is full.
Drizzle the remaining béchamel over each filled shell.
Cover with silver foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180º for approx. 20 minutes. Take the foil off, sprinkle with the parmesan and continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has turned golden.
Serve immediately by spooning some of the tomato sauce in the centre of a serving plate and arranging the pasta shells on top.
(serves 2 - I tripled it!)
Mousse di Cioccolato Bianco e Pepe Nero
White Chocolate Mousse with Black Pepper and Mint
280g white chocolate (broken into pieces)
1 tablespoon of freshly grounded black pepper
300ml double cream
12 leaves of fresh mint (6 finely sliced, and 6 for decoration)
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water until melts. Once ready, stand the bowl on a cold surface to cool down slightly.
Pour the cream in a large bowl and whisk until soft peak forms.
Place 2 tablespoons of cream in the chocolate and gently fold together, then fold the chocolate mixture into the cream. At the end gently fold in the black pepper and the fresh mint.
Divide the mixture between six tall champagne glasses with a capacity of approx 70ml each. (I used little glass pots instead.)
Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes, decorate with a mint leaf and serve.
Here are the two recipes from the two dishes I prepared for my family last Friday! Both were taken from the Gino D'Acampo book, Buonissimo!