Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella and Meat Sauce
Author: Julia Frey of Vikalinka
Recipe type: Main
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 lbs ground beef, extra-lean
- 2 cups/800 gr/2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ cup/ 125 ml store-bought pesto
- 1 lbs pasta shells
- 1½ cups/150 gr mozzarella, grated
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- Heat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Cook chopped onion in olive oil over low heat for 5-7 minutes until soft but not coloured.
- Add ground beef and cook, stirring it the whole until no longer pink.
- Add, salt, chopped basil and canned tomatoes, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, stir one in a while and break up any large tomato chunks with a wooden spoon.
- While the sauce is simmering, cook the shells in a large pot according to package instructions. It's important not to overcook pasta but cook it al dente as it will be further cooked in the oven.
- At the end of cooking time stir pesto into the sauce and take it off the heat.
- Drain pasta and gently toss it with the sauce in the same pot the pasta was cooked in.
- Put half of the pasta in the baking dish and sprinkle with half of mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Top it up with the remaining pasta and sprinkle with more mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until cheese is golden and pasta is hot and bubbly.