Pasta and cannellini bean gratin

    1 hour 10 min

    If you first cook the pasta, and then use the same pot to cook the beans, you will only need one pot and a baking dish to make this meal. To save time, cook the pasta and the beans in different pots at the same time, and use prepared pesto instead of fresh basil and Parmesan.

    24 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 250g uncooked conchiglie pasta (shells)
    • 85g fresh basil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 250g ricotta cheese
    • 85g chopped onion
    • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 (400g) tins cannellini beans
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 50g breadcrumbs
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until done. Drain, and set aside. Meanwhile mince basil and garlic with Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a medium bowl, and mix with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Mix in ricotta.
    2. In a saucepan, cook onions with thyme and bay leaf in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in beans and balsamic vinegar, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Combine beans, tomatoes and pasta in a well oiled 2 litre baking dish. Place spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture in the pasta and beans, and press down to cover. In a small bowl, moisten breadcrumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle over pasta.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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