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Spring Primavera Stuffed Pasta Shell Bake

With beautifully balanced flavours and using the best of the new season’s produce, this dish will bring any dinner gathering to life.

Spring Primavera Stuffed Pasta Shell Bake

Serves 4

16 dried conchiglioni pasta shells
400g ricotta
1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
¼ cup chopped basil, extra leaves to serve
¾ cup finely grated parmesan
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 ½ cup cooking cream or single cream
200ml crème fraiche
2 spring onions with bulbs on the end, sliced
1 cup peas
1 bunch asparagus, halved lengthways
6 zucchini flowers, stamens removed, stems sliced

Preheat oven 200°C. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for 9-11 minutes or until al dente. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander. Rinse under cold water. Drain well.

Combine ricotta, lemon rind, basil and half the parmesan in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon the mixture into the pasta shells. Place shells in a deep baking dish, 20cm x 30cm. Place stock, cream and crème fraiche in a bowl; whisk until just combined. Add to pasta shells and sprinkle with spring onions. Sprinkle over remaining parmesan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and add peas, asparagus and zucchini stems to dish. Cover the dish with foil, return to oven and cook for a further 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Set aside for 5 minutes. Top with zucchini flowers and extra basil leaves to serve.

+ Smart Tip: Other vegetables that would go well in this dish are broccoli, broccolini and sugar snap peas.

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