Shell pasta – pasta e basta!
Stuffed pasta with roasted cauliflower and spinach – sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Admittedly, I hardly know anyone who does NOT like pasta! There are few dishes that have conquered the world like Italian pizza and pasta. Pasta in particular comes in all possible shapes, lengths, thicknesses and now also colors.
Most associate a decent serving of pasta with a decent serving of calories and “bad carbohydrates”. But it doesn’t have to be! I’ll tell you how you can make this a little “healthier”!
A balanced diet also works with pasta
If you have been following me for a long time, you have surely also noticed that I attach great importance to a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, it should be easy to integrate into everyday life and never feel like a “waiver”. As with all things, it is in the diet that the dose makes the poison. The “problem” with normal pasta is that it is mostly a highly processed product and consists mostly of simple carbohydrates. Empty calories with no significant nutrients that will make your blood sugar level rise and fall just as quickly.
Common noodles also have hardly any fiber nor trace elements due to the many grinding and processing stages. It is therefore always more sensible to use whole-wheat pasta, as these, similar to wholemeal bread, are always less processed and bring more nutrients with them. Noodles made from lentils, chickpeas, or homemade noodles made from zucchini (so-called zoodles), carrots, etc. are also highly recommended alternatives. For example, if you mix your “normal” pasta with higher-quality or more nutritious noodles, you automatically upgrade your dish! This way, you also get some fiber, proteins, and antioxidants!
Therefore, this recipe consists of both “simple” shell noodles and zoodles. So you have the best of both worlds! I swear, like this, even the noodles taste a bit better! 😉 Here we go!
- baking sheet
Roasting the veggies
- 1/2 cauliflower
- 1 truss cherry tomatoes ca. 6-8 pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Cooking the noodles
- 14 pieces big shell pasta ca. 150 g (Conchiglioni)
- 1 zucchini
- 2-3 l water with ca. 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
Preparing the spinach
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 200 g spinach
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp agave syrup optional
- some chili optional if you like it spice
- 2 tbsp almonds chopped
- ½ bunch parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp raisins
- ½ lemon halved
Roasting the veggies
- Preheat your oven to 425 °F/ 220 °C. Line your baking sheet with baking paper.
- Cut your half head of cauliflower into approx. 1-2 cm thick slices and spread them on the baking sheet. Add the cocktail tomatoes to the side. Drizzle everything with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake it for about 25 minutes until your cauliflower gets brownish ends.
Cook the pasta
- Bring the pasta water to the boil and cook the shell pasta (Conchiglioni) al dente – according to the instructions on the package. Take half a cup of the pasta water and pour off the rest. Add about 1 teaspoon of olive oil to your finished shell noodles, stir carefully – so that they don't stick together.
Prepare the spinach
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and fry it in a pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt it a little. Add the spinach and the chopped garlic and cook for another 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Now mix the baked cauliflower with the spinach in the pan.
- Mix the white wine vinegar, agave syrup, and chili flakes in a small bowl, stir everything well and add it to the spinach and cauliflower. If you don't have enough sauce, you can add some pasta water here.
Prepare the topping and the zoodles
- Chop the parsley and almonds. Mix them with the raisins in a small bowl.
- Make some zoodles with your spiralizer.
Stuff the shell pasta and serve
- Now line your plates or bowls with half of the zoodles and half of the shell noodles with the open side facing up. Fill the shell noodles with the spinach and cauliflower mixture and garnish with the parsley, almond and raisin mixture, add the baked tomatoes.
- Finally, pour some sauce from the pan over the zoodles, squeeze some lemon over them and add a little salt and pepper if necessary. And very important: Buon Appetito! 😉
Sounds way more complicated than it actually is! First, you cut the cauliflower and put it in the oven. Meanwhile, you prepare the pasta and the spinach. Then, the cauliflower is ready, mix it with the spinach, and make some zoodles. Put them in a bowl, add the shell pasta, stuff it with the filling, and add the topping, basta!
“Conchiglioni” – that’s the name of this shell-shaped pasta, which you can fill perfectly. And with a nod, they’re gone pretty quickly! If you are not that much of a pasta fan, then you can – of course – do a little more of the zoodles. If you do not digest raw food so well, you can also briefly add the zoodles to the pan with the spinach and cauliflower so that they are a little more digestible.
The lemon juice also enables the optimal absorption of iron, which is mainly found in parsley and spinach in this recipe. In addition, cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous family, one of the most nutritious vegetables that you can eat – more on that soon! You see, with this recipe for stuffed shell noodles you will not only get full, but you will also provide your body with important nutrients at the same time!
I hope you like my pasta recipe at least as much as I do! A little Italy with some Dolce Vita in the kitchen hasn’t hurt anyone so far! 😉
You can find more delicious and nourishing recipes in my “recipes” category.
To stay up to date, here is my Facebook fan page! I am happy about every new subscriber! 😉