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Spinach and ricotta ravioli – revamped!

Fresh from the new book by gut health expert Dr Megan Rossi is a surprisingly filling and easy-to-make pasta supper - maybe this health kick isn't going to be so tough after all?

Coming from an Italian family, homemade ravioli has always been part of our celebrations. But after moving to London and realizing I didn’t have the time or skill, it was either forgo one of my favourites or conjure up an easier and quicker alternative . . . and so these delicious stuffed pasta shells were born. I couldn’t let my microbes miss out on the feast, so I’ve ensured they contain over a third of your daily fibre needs and prebiotics too.

Serves 4

Prep 15 mins Cook 30 mins   

Rich tomato sauce:

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, grated

10 sundried tomato halves, preserved in oil, chopped (approx. 85g)

20g basil, roughly chopped

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 200g passata

Stuffed pasta:

250g fresh spinach

24 conchiglie shells or 12 cannelloni tubes (about 175g)

1 x 400g tin of mixed beans, drained and rinsed

120g peas, fresh or frozen 250g ricotta

150g feta, crumbled

Toppers:

20g pine nuts

20g Parmesan, grated

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until aromatic and then add the sundried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, 200ml water, basil, passata and some seasoning. Cook on a low heat for around 20 minutes with the lid off.

In the meantime, make the pasta filling by heating a large saucepan and adding a splash of water and the spinach. Pop a lid on and let the spinach wilt for a couple of minutes. Then transfer to a sieve and squeeze out the excess water before putting into a food processor.

Add the beans and peas, and blitz until roughly smooth (approx. 2 minutes). Stir in the ricotta and feta.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Lightly oil an ovenproof dish (approx. 25cm x 30cm). Pour in the tomato sauce and spread out in an even layer.

Rinse the saucepan and fill with water. Bring to the boil and cook the pasta shells for 2 minutes less than the pack instructions, so they’re just cooked and holding their shape. Drain the shells and, once they’re cool enough to handle, stuff them with the filling and put into the tomato sauce. Repeat until you’ve filled all the shells.

Scatter the pine nuts and grated Parmesan over the top and pop into the hot oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown.

Tip: Short on time? Scrap the tomato sauce recipe and use your favourite ready-made tomato and basil pasta sauce.

Storage: Keeps in the fridge for 3 days. The uncooked filling can keep in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in fridge, then stuff your shells and bake until piping hot.

Eat More, Live Well by Megan Rossi was published on 30 Dec by Penguin Books.

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