Stuffed pasta shells with roasted tomato ragu recipe

By Alice Hart

  1. Serves 4
  2. Takes 25 minutes to make, 3¾ hours in the oven
  3. Rating

The stewing beef will become meltingly tender and is simple to shred with some forks for an authentic ragù. Unused or leftover ragù sauce will keep covered in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

tried and tested
Stuffed pasta shells with roasted tomato ragu


  1. 1 onion
  2. 1 carrot
  3. 1 celery stick
  4. 100g bacon
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
  7. 900g cubed stewing beef
  8. 400ml red wine
  9. 200ml beef stock
  10. 300g giant dried pasta shells
  11. 25g grated Parmesan
  12. Fresh basil leaves to serve

For the roast tomato sauce

  1. 1kg ripe medium tomatoes, halved
  2. 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  3. 2 tsp caster sugar
  4. 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato purée
  5. 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery stick and bacon. Spread out in a large roasting tin and drizzle over 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.
  2. 2. Remove from the oven, spread the tomatoes out on top, cut-side-up. Press the chopped garlic pieces into the tomato flesh to submerge slightly, sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper and dot with sun-dried tomato purée. Tuck in rosemary sprigs. Continue cooking for 1 hour, then turn the oven down to 150°C/fan130°C/gas 2.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, put a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season the stewing beef and brown on all sides in 2 or 3 batches. Add the beef to the tomatoes and pour in the red wine and beef stock. Stir, cover tightly with foil and return to the oven for 2½ hours or until the beef is tender.
  4. 4. Remove the rosemary stalks, and discard. Shred the meat with 2 forks and season to taste. Boil the giant dried pasta shells for 9 minutes. Drain and put in a 3-litre baking dish.
  5. 5. Stuff each shell with ragù and sprinkle with 25g grated Parmesan. Scatter with fresh basil leaves to serve.


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Dancing Queen

June 27

Absolutely delicious, however I served the ragu with a different type of chunky pasta, as I found that by the time I had stuffed the shells, everything was cold!

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