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Pesto and chicken meatball bake

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• 400g pack chicken sausages
• 500g conchiglie pasta
• 2 sweet pointed ramiro peppers, deseeded and cut into 1.5cm strips
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 4 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
• 300g frozen spinach, defrosted, excess moisture squeezed out
• 60g pecorino (or Italian-style hard cheese), finely grated
• 150ml vegetable stock
• 30g pack basil
• 125g half-fat mozzarella, sliced


  • Preheat the oven to gas 9, 240°C, fan 220°C. Bring a large pan of
    water to the boil. Squeeze the sausage meat out of its casings and roll into cherry-sized balls. You should be able to make 4-5 balls from each sausage.
  • Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 7 mins until al dente, stirring
    occasionally. Drain, reserving 100ml of the cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat
    and cook the meatballs for 4 mins. Add the peppers and cook for 5-6 mins until the meatballs are browned and the peppers are starting to char.
  • To make the pesto, blitz the spring onions, spinach, pecorino,
    vegetable stock, most of the basil and the remaining oil in a food processor until smooth; season with pepper.
  • Return the drained pasta to the saucepan. Stir in the pesto, reserved
    cooking water, meatballs and peppers. Tip into an ovenproof dish, top with the mozzarella and bake for 15 mins. Season with black pepper and serve scattered with the reserved basil leaves.