The whole dish, prior to baking.
Ok, I would like to promise that this will be my last post with the almond feta for awhile, but I can't guarantee that! It's just so good, and so versatile :-) This dish is particularly fantastic - jumbo pasta shells stuffed with the almond feta mixed with lots of fresh basil and all topped with my new favourite tomato cream sauce (blog post below). Seriously delicious and really special, I can see us having this one for many special occasions....or any weeknight really as it's not hard!
Another great thing about this dish - I discovered the almond feta can be made on the same day you are making this so it won't take you 2 - 3 days to make :-) I whipped up the feta in the morning, let it drain in the fridge until it was time to make it then half cooked the feta for 20 minutes. I then stirred in some chopped basil, filled the par cooked shells, poured the sauce under and over then baked it off for another 20 minutes. This meant the feta didn't get overcooked as it still got it's full 40 minutes :-)
Jumbo Pasta Shells stuffed with Basil Feta with a Tomato Basil Cream Sauce:
12 large pasta shells
1 x recipe almond feta
1 x recipe Tomato Cream Sauce
(If you have any leftover filling or sauce, don't worry, it'll get used elsewhere!)
In the morning make the almond feta up to the stage where it is draining in the cheesecloth in the fridge. I also like to make the sauce in the morning and have it ready and waiting in the fridge. About an hour before you want to eat remove the feta from the cheesecloth and place in a lightly greased oven proof dish. Bake at 200C for 20 minutes. It usually takes 40 but remove it now and stir in lots of chopped fresh basil, it will be quite soft.
Now the shells, it will depend on what the package instructions say but I parboiled mine for 15 minutes then ran them under cold water and drained well. Stuff the shells with a bit of the basil feta but don't fill them up or worry about fully fulling them up. The basil feta is strong in flavour (as well as calories) and you don't need a lot here. Also, I filled a piping bag with the cheese and piped it into the shells but don't recommend doing that. It was fiddly and would have been much easier to spoon it in. When the amount of shells you want are stuffed heat up the tomato cream sauce and stir in some chopped fresh basil into the sauce.
Now place some of the sauce in the bottom of an ovenproof dish and lay the stuffed shells on top.
Scoop out the shells onto a plate and this is entirely optional - grate with a little cheddar cheezly and serve. Would be great with a glass of red wine and garlic bread.