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Pasta shells with ricotta, preserved lemon and pesto


Pasta shells with ricotta, preserved lemon and pesto

Pasta shells with ricotta, preserved lemon and pesto

S. Wongkaew

An elegant, easy and absolutely delicious pasta recipe. The shells are filled with a mixture of goat and ricotta cheese infused with sauteed Spanish onion, leek, fresh thyme, garlic and preserved lemon served with a light tomato broth and a dollop of pesto.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 6 large pasta shells each (4 people)
  • 2 Tbsp onlive oil
  • White part of 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of soft goat's cheese
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 preserved lemon wedge, fresh discarded, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • ***SAUCE***
  • 2 cups of passata
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 4 Tbsp pesto


  1. Bring plenty of salted water to the boil and cook pasta shells for 4 minutes. Strain and run under cold water to stop cooking process. Drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Gently fry the leek and Spanish onion for 8 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add garlic and thyme and fry, stirring, for a further 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl to cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine goat's cheese, ricotta and Parmesan. Mix well. Add preserved lemon. Season will a little salt and mix well. Add the cooled onion mixture and mix again.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Fill pasta shells with cheese mixture. Place in baking dish. Set aside.
  5. Combine passata and chicken stock in a jug. Mix well then gently and slowly pour into baking dish until liquid reaches half way up the side of the shells.
  6. Sprinkle on a little salt and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Once pasta is cooked through remove from oven and arrange shells evenly amongst serving dishes. Ladle on some of the tomato broth and top each dish with a dollop of pesto. Serve immediately.
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