If you are trying stretch that one pound of ground meat out to feed 6 people, this Baked Lentil Bolognese Stuffed Pasta Shells recipe is for you. With meat prices rising, I will show you how to make a bolognese boosted with lentils. It is so delicious you may even find yourself not needed the meat next time.
Onions, garlic, celery, and carrots are the foundation of a great bolognese. Along with a good pour of wine. This recipe is also a great way to use up any Parmesan rinds you may have. These will also infuse their flavour into your sauce. You can also use the recipe for the Lentil Bolognese over any cooked pasta or gnocchi or even poured over cooked tofu or chicken.
Uses Up: lentils, ricotta. cheese, pasta, ground meat, beet greens, tomato sauce
Baked Lentil Bolognese Stuffed Pasta Shells
Serves: up to 6 people.
Time to Make: About 1 hour
For the Lentil Bolognese:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
3 bay leaves
Optional Add In: pinch chili flakes
1/2 cup white wine or broth of choice
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 cups cooked or canned drained lentils
24 oz. (3 cups) tomato sauce of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Add Ins: 1 cup cream of choice, leftover Parmesan rinds, 2 Tbsp chopped herbs of choice such as basil or oregano
For the Baked Stuffed Pasta
1 box (340 g) large shell pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 cloves garlic, pureed
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped beet greens
Substitutions: spinach or kale for beet greens
- Preheat a large saucepot or sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic, celery and carrot to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in bay leaves and wine and let wine reduce until almost dry.
- Stir in ground meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned.
- Stir in lentils, tomato sauce, and Parmesan rinds (if using) and let simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Uncover and add in cream and season with salt and pepper. If too loose continue to simmer to desired consistency, uncovered.
- In the meantime, Pre-Boil pasta shells in boiling salted water as per package instructions. Drain and run under cold water and add in a splash of oil so they do not stick together.
- In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, mozzarella, chopped basil, garlic, and chopped beet greens. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once sauce is finished, Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a greased baking dish, pour half of your sauce to cover the bottom of dish. Fill each cooked pasta shell with a Tbsp of ricotta filling and nestle into the sauce. Once all shells are filled, pour over remaining sauce.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is golden and sauce is bubbling.
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