Stuffed pasta shells are a favorite for family style meals. In this recipe, the pasta is filled with a satisfying mixture of chicken, shallots, carrots, and arugula and then topped with grated cheese that melts and turns golden brown during baking. The shells are served with a pureed pumpkin and orange sauce alongside, for spooning over each portion. It's yet another way to make sure your kids get their daily dose of veggies.
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
- 250 grams pasta shells (large)
- olive oil
- 130 grams bacon (chopped)
- 2 shallots (finely chopped)
- 1 carrot (diced)
- 50 grams arugula
- coarse salt
- white pepper
- 1 tablespoon Ilha cheese (grated)
- 200 grams pumpkin (diced.)
- 1 orange (zested)
- 200 milliliters water
- Cut chicken into small cubes.
- Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice.
- Set aside.
- Cook pasta in plenty of boiling, salted water until al dente, according to package instructions.
- Drain pasta and set aside. Preheat oven to 180°C (approximately 350°F).
- In a frying pan, heat olive oil and cook bacon until crispy.
- Remove bacon from pan, drain on paper towels and set aside.
- In the same frying pan, add more olive oil and sauté one chopped shallot until translucent.
- Add chicken and brown over medium heat until cooked.
- Add carrots and cook a few more minutes.
- Remove from heat and add arugula, toss well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Fill pasta shells with shallot-arugula mixture and transfer to a baking dish greased with olive oil.
- Top with grated cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the same frying pan, add more olive oil and sauté remaining shallot.
- Add pumpkin, orange zest and juice. Let simmer until pumpkin is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer cooked pumpkin to a blender and add hot water, as needed Blend until creamy.
- Serve the shells with the sauce on the side.