The quantities specified will easily feed four people. If cooking for two don’t bother halving the ingredients; it’s just as easy to make two lots of pasta and save one for later in the week or freeze it. The pasta tastes especially good when reheated.
The amount of red wine/seasoning may seem excessive but as the recipe uses veggie mince I increase the seasoning to compensate. I’ve specified vegetarian mince but this is an optional ingredient; if you prefer not to use mince then increase the quantity of mushrooms.
- 1 large red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 large glass red wine
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 ½ tbs tomato purée
- 2 cups chestnut mushrooms
- 2 handfuls vegetarian mince
- Fresh halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 big handful fresh basil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Conchiglie pasta or any other giant pasta (enough to fill two baking dishes)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese to top
- Place a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add some olive oil. Fry the onions for a few minutes then add the garlic to the pan. Fry for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the red wine and bubble for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, purée, Worcestershire sauce, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, oregano, thyme and seasoning then simmer for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you have time cook it for longer to intensify the flavours.
- Add the mince and cook for a further five minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the basil.
- Place the big pasta shells in the baking dishes on their backs and spoon or pour the bolognese into the shells. Top with cheese and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes at 200°C.
Extra: If you have time or want to make this dish a bit more special, make a lasagne-style white sauce to top the pasta instead of the cheese.
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan and add 1 tbsp flour. Mix to form a paste and slowly add one large glass of milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth and starts to thicken.
- Add two thirds of the cheese then pour over the pasta. Top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with parmesan if you have any.