Conchiglioni with roasted tomato sauce

Low-fat recipe good for training and endurance

Conchiglioni are basically enormous pasta shells — you can find them on the pasta shelf of most supermarkets. The conchiglioni and the tomatoes have a low glycaemic index, making the dish ideal for the night before a big workout. In fact, this is one of my favourite pre-race meals as it is so light on the stomach. The tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and B vitamins (niacin, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorous and calcium) and are also a good source of fiber and the antioxidant lycopene (good for fighting disease). The cheese adds a little protein to the dish.

Conchiglioni with roasted tomato sauce

We also like to slow roast tomatoes at this time of year because it gives them a lovely deep flavor. You could use any pasta in theory, but conchiglioni is really best suited for this dish, as the sauce gets caught inside the shells — you can eat each shell with a little basil leaf and a piece of feta … simple and delicious!

Method

1. Cut the tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet.

2. Sprinkle over balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper and place in the oven at about 170˚C.

3. Add the garlic about 5 minutes before you remove from the oven — after about 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Transfer to a saucepan, scraping off all the caramelised bits as well, add the sugocasa (basically posh tinned tomatoes but less acidic than tinned tomatoes — and can be found on the same shelf in the supermarket. Use small tin of chopped tomatoes as alternative or you can use more fresh tomatoes instead if you have them) and chili if you are using it and cook very gently, covered, for another 20 minutes or so, stirring every now and then.

5. Add more balsamic, olive oil, seasoning, maybe some Lea & Perrins etc. to taste. Add the chopped basil at the last minute.

6. Grill the bacon until really crispy.

7. Cook the pasta shells in salted water according to pack instructions — warning, you need a big saucepan. When you drain the pasta, leave some of the cooking liquid to stop it getting sticky, and add some olive oil.

8. Serve the pasta in large individual pasta dishes with some sauce on top. Place a slice of bacon on top with some basil leaves and pieces of feta sprinkled over.

Ingredients

  • 250g Conchiglioni
  • 4 decent sized vine tomatoes
  • ¼ bottle sugocasa
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ tbs balsamic vinegar
  • Glug of olive oil
  • ½ tsp demerara sugar
  • Plenty of salt and black pepper
  • 1 flaked, dried chilli (optional)
  • Bunch of fresh basil, chopped, saving a few leaves for decoration
  • Feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 rashers streaky bacon or prosciutto (optional)

Vital Statistics

Serves: 2
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Good for: Excellent balanced, healthy low-fat meal, good for training and endurance or just a quick-fix meal

Calories (kcal): 593.5
Protein (g): 21.1
Carbs (g): 95.3
Fat (g): 14.4
Fiber (g): 6.1

Comments (2)

  • missionpossible 'This was delicious - I used the small shell pasta as couldn't find the big shells. Cooking time isn't 20 mins though more like 50 mins but very low maintenance and easy to prepare. '

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  • kategofasterfood 'Yes, that makes sense, as you need about 30 minutes to roast the toms, which is included in the prep time. Glad you liked it...it is v. popular in our household. Kate'

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