If you are looking for a quick and easy, colourful STUFFED PASTA dish for one - why not try this recipe.
The whole dish took around 15 minutes to make, and I thought the end result looked good enough to perhaps serve as a starter (2 or 3 conchiglie per person maybe with a bit of green salad on the side). I was very full after eating my way through 57 grams of dried pasta (around 8 pasta pieces).
The ingredients (serves 1):
35g grated cheese (I used Cheddar and Gruyere, but you could buy the ready grated mozzarella and Cheddar if you like
3 whole tomatoes chopped into dice
one whole garlic clove
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
small handful of spinach
1/4 bell pepper if you have one, finely chopped
spoonful of tomato puree
a good sprinkle of dried oregano if you have any (it's lovely and sweet)
salt & pepper
dried chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat as I do
and probably the most difficult item to source - large dried conchiglie pasta. I scoured the supermarkets nearby and eventually found mine in Waitrose.
Put the pasta into boiled water and while it's cooking, make the filling.
Begin by sautéing the chopped onion and pepper. Fry until soft then add the chilli flakes if using along with the minced garlic clove. Tip this mixture into a small saucepan with the chopped tomatoes, herbs, tomato puree, salt and pepper. If you want to you can deglaze the frying pan with a splash of red or white wine. If you don't do this then add a bit of water to the mixture. Simmer the filling for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Add the handful of spinach and let that wilt down for a minute or two. Allow the mixture to cool slightly while you drain the cooked pasta. Season pasta with salt and pepper before adding the filling. Put a little grated cheese in the bottom of each shell (helps the sauce stick), then spoon in the tomato and spinach filling. Finish with grated cheese and put under a grill until it melts.
You could add some chopped cooked chicken, ham, mushrooms etc to the filling as this is a very versatile recipe.