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Giant's pasta shells

Recipe blog

Giant's pasta shells

Emily Kerrigan

Broad bean and mint or tomato and basil: you and the kids can knock up both sauces for these giant shells in the time it takes the pasta to cook (or just opt for one or the other). Any surplus sauce can be refrigerated for bruschetta tomorrow - try the broad bean sauce on bruschetta with a little crisped-up pancetta, Parmesan shavings, black pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Serves 4

pack of giant pasta shells
a punnet of cherry tomatoes
a small bunch of basil
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 handfuls of broad beans (frozen or fresh)
a handful of mint, leaves picked
1 tub of ricotta
Parmesan, to serve

Takes 20 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7 and boil the kettle. Put the pasta shells in a pan of hot salted water, bring to a simmer and cook according to pack instructions.

2. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a roasting tin. Get the kids to roughly rip over the basil, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven 10 minutes until softening. 

3. Next, help the kids pop the broad beans in another small pan with the mint leaves, pour over the remaining hot water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes then show the kids how to drain them in a colander.  

4. Pulse the broad beans and mint in a food processor, adding a spoonful of ricotta at a time. Season with salt and pepper. You can add as little or as much ricotta as you like.  

5. Drain the pasta through a colander and divide between two serving bowls - use a plastic spatula to scrape all the broad bean sauce into one of the bowls and stir to mix (the spatula will remove pretty much all of the sauce and 'clean' the processor bowl).

6. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and pulse with the basil in your processor, adding a spoonful of ricotta at a time. You can add as little or as much ricotta as you like. Stir this sauce into the other bowl with the remaining pasta shells.

7. Serve a bit of both per person, scattered with a grating of Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and a little extra black pepper.