Conchiglioni Lentil Bolognese Bake
This is an interesting way to serve a bolognese. The bolognese sauce is the same as the previous recipe except instead of serving with spaghetti or pasta in the normal way it is spooned into and over giant pasta shells (Conchiglioni) then generously covered in Parmesan* and baked.
115g red lentils, washed
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, grated
1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
450ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Giant pasta shells (Conchiglioni)
Grated parmesan* to garnish
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes until softened.
2. Add the vegetable stock, lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, dried herbs, salt and pepper.
3. Stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes until lentils are cooked. Adjust seasoning if required.
4. Cook sufficient giant pasta shells to cover the bottom of an ovenproof dish (I used a 20 x 30cm Pyrex roasting dish) in salted water until just tender and drain well.
5. Spoon a layer of bolognese into the bottom of the dish and arrange the cooked shells on top open side up and spoon some bolognese into each one.
6. Pour the remaining bolognese over the top and sprinkle lots of grated parmesan on top.
7. Cover with tin foil and bake at gas mark 4 for around 20-30 minutes.
*Parmesan contains rennet so not strictly vegetarian, vegetarian alternatives are available but won’t be called Parmesan, eg. Sainsbury’s “Italian Hard Cheese”.