Lasagna Stuffed Shells with Béchamel (Conchiglioni) is a delicious take on a traditional Italian lasagna with bolognese and béchamel sauce, but a bit more fun served inside jumbo pasta shells.
There are many ways ways to enjoy jumbo pasta shells, called conchiglioni in Italian. Some people stuff the pasta shells with cream cheese or ricotta, others will sausage or bolognese meat sauce. I have a similar recipe called Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells Conchiglioni Bolognese, which is less creamy and is on a tomato base instead of Béchamel.
This recipe for bolognese sauce is delicious and sneaks in lots of vegetables, perfect for kids! You could use a store-bought pasta sauce as your bolognese base, but I love using passata which is pureed uncooked tomatoes. This allows me to add different herbs and spices, and the passata gives a richer flavor when compared to regular store pasta sauce.
Cheesy bechamel sauce is a basic white sauce with parmesan cheese, a perfect base for the Lasagna Stuffed Shells (Conchiglioni) to sit on. Cover generously with grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese, and you’ve got your perfect Lasagna Stuffed Shells with Béchamel (Conchiglioni). Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Lasagna Stuffed Shells with Béchamel (Conchiglioni)
- 1 packet jumbo pasta shells conchiglioni 500g
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves diced
- 1 small zucchini finely diced
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 red pepper finely diced
- 2 lbs/1kg ground beef
- 1 jar passata 700 grms
- ¼ cup fresh oregano chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- Bechamel Sauce can use store bought creamy pasta sauce if in hurry
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 bay leaf
Cook the large pasta shells as per instructions and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
Stir in the vegetables, chopped herbs and 1 jar of the passatta. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
To make the béchamel sauce, melt 5 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and mix together until a smooth paste.. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until until it turns a golden color. Gradually whisk in the milk in small batches and stir until the sauce thickens. Add the parmesan cheese, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool before using.
Fill the pasta shells generously with the ground beef mixture. Pour béchamel sauce into the base of an oven proof dish. Neatly lay the stuffed pasta shells on top of the béchamel sauce, cover with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Place in a preheated 350°F/180°C oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and meat is warmed through.
Recipe NotesYou can used 50/50 ground beef and ground pork for better flavor. If you pre-cook the meat and refrigerate before using, then it will take longer to heat the pasta shells through. I would suggest covering with foil and cooking between 35-45 minutes to ensure the cheese doesn't burn. This recipe makes enough for 2 trays of pasta shells. If using a smaller package of jumbo pasta shells, then cut recipe in half or freeze the other tray.