A new week and I’m kicking things off with a fun challenge. Britannia Living have challenged me with showing off some recipes that represent my kitchen. So today I’m sharing with you a recipe for Baked Pasta Shells. And also one for a Gin Bramble.
I love a challenge and I think Britannia Living set a great one with this competition. The #BritanniaCookOff is all about showing off my passion for cooking through delicious recipes that represent my kitchen. At Britannia Living the kitchen is really the heart of the home and that’s very much true of my household too. I must admit it really didn’t take much time to think about the kinds of recipes that represent my kitchen. I wanted something hearty, not too complex and tasty, for both my meal and my drink. For us pasta really is a staple for meal times in our household. And of course gin is a staple for our weekends too. So these Baked Pasta Shells with Gin Brambles to accompany it really do represent my kitchen.
- 2 Cans chopped tomatoes
- 200g Bacon lardons (smoked)
- Bunch of basil chopped
- 3 Cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 White onion, diced
- Ground black pepper
- Big glug of olive oil
- 2 Balls of Mozzarella, diced
- 250g Ricotta
- 100g Parmesan
- Ground black pepper
- 300g Giant pasta shells
- Add the oil, garlic and onion to a heavy based pan (that has a lid).
- Cook until soft (15 min) then add in the lardons, cook until cooked through.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes, loads of black pepper and basil. Pop the lid on and simmer for 20 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- After about 10 mins of the sauce cooking, get the pasta going and cook as per instructions (mine was 12 min).
- Prepare the cheese, grate the parmesan, put half in a bowl with ricotta and whip the ricotta with a fork. Stir in some ground black pepper.
- When the pasta has cooked, stir through the ricotta. Take the sauce off the heat, should be done now.
- Now get an oven dish out, spread a ladle full of the cooked sauce across the bottom.
- Layer in half the pasta with half the diced mozzerella.
- Top with sauce, then layer with the pasta and mozzarella. Top with the sauce. Then sprinkle on parmesan.
- Bake for 20 mins and serve!
For a drink that represents my kitchen, I chose to make a twist on a Bramble. Because they really are my favourite gin cocktails, the sweetness of the berry is really matched with the lemon. I didn’t have enough ice to fill my tumblers with, so I topped these ones off with some tonic. It still worked though and they went perfectly with our Baked Pasta Shells dinner.
- 50ml Gin (I chose Brockmans)
- 50ml Lemon juice
- 25ml Chambord or Creme de Cassis
- 10ml Raspberry syrup
- 100ml Tonic water (I chose the low cal option to not add anymore sweetness)
- Berries to garnish
- Add the gin, lemon juice, Chambord and syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice (or in my case frozen berries - still worked - we didn't have enough ice!) and shake until it's very very cold.
- Fill a glass with ice, strain the cocktail into it and top up with tonic water. Garnish with berries! Enjoy!
P.S. Post in collaboration with Britannia Living.