Enchilada stuffed pasta shells

Do you nap? If so, how long do you usually nap for?

I’m often on the 4am shift at work (which means getting up at 2:30am), and by about 3 or 4pm my eyes are droooooping – I always get to that stage where I keep falling asleep in the chair and wake myself up when my head falls down. Very amusing to everyone watching, but not particularly fun. I actually sprained my neck today – seriously. Most embarrassing injury ever.

I usually go for a ‘short’ nap, which inevitably turns into me somehow turning my alarm off in my sleep and waking up 3 hours later (how do I do this? I’m really good at getting up when I actually have to get up for something, it’s as if my subconscious knows that the alarm doesn’t mean anything and just thinks ‘nope not getting up’).

Anyway, none of that has any relevance whatsoever (umm, apart from maaaybe that a big plate of warming pasta might make you sleepy? Maybe?) but anyway. Have some enchilada stuffed shells.

I guess this is a fusion recipe, since it’s sort of Italian and sort of Mexican. Combining two great things may not always have a good outcome but in this case it definitely does. Black beans, gooood. Spicy sauce, goooood. Pasta, goooood.

(it’s seriously scary just how often a Friends reference pops into my head and I have no-one to share it with. Let me have this one ok?)

I guess the filling of these shells is somewhat related to that of the creamy ricotta enchiladas I posted last year (I’d like to think my photographs are approximately a thousand times better than they used to be… yeeeeesh) – I really like how the creamy ricotta cools the spicy sauce somewhat. Plus there’s a crispy cheesy topping which is never ever ever bad.

I wanted to get some extra veggies into my dinner so I added a layer of sliced mushrooms, but if you’re cooking for a picky eater then you can easily skip these. See, no excuses!

Enchilada stuffed pasta shells
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main meal
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 200g conchiglie (large pasta shells)
  • 400g tin black beans, drained (240g when drained)
  • 150g sweetcorn kernels
  • 150g ricotta cheese
  • 3tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 400g red enchilada sauce (shop-bought or homemade - see link below)
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 100g tomatoes, sliced
  • Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
  2. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the packet, until al dente. Drain and then cover with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the black beans, sweetcorn, ricotta and coriander in a bowl.
  4. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the sauce into a large baking dish (mine measured approximately 12 x 8 inches), and spread around with the back of a spoon. Layer on the sliced mushrooms.
  5. Drain the pasta shells again (they should now be cool enough to handle), and stuff each one with the ricotta mixture. Lay in the baking dish in rows. If you have any of the stuffing mixture left over, you can dot it around the shells in the dish. Top with the remaining sauce and the grated cheese. Lay the sliced tomato over the cheese, and sprinkle with black pepper.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Top with more fresh coriander if desired.

If you’d like to make your own enchilada sauce, see the recipe here.

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