Stuffed Lumaconi Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries and Green peas

I was shopping around in my favorite store, William Sonoma when I came across this large colorful pasta shells. They are called  Lumaconi pasta shells, shaped like the shell of a snail. They are hollow inside, and open at one end, closing in on itself at the other end. The colors intrigued me the most. I had to do something with them, but they could not be drowned in sauce. You must see the color. I decided to go with a vegan recipe, so this dish popped up in my head.  This dish is very beautiful and elegant. I served the pasta on top of a bed of the quinoa mixture. I drizzled olive oil all over it. Traditionally this type of pasta causes for sauce, but the olive oil and the lemon zest was just enough.

Enjoy! Remember to Always Set the Table with Love.

Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas
Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas

Ingredients:

4 lumaconi pasta shells, they are very large, prepare according to package directions.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1 1/2 cup water, for quinoa

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp dried fennel

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup frozen organic green peas

1/2 cup dried cranberries, good quality cranberries

lemon zest

Generous frizze of the best extra virgin olive

Directions:

Cook your quinoa according to package instruction. Make sure to rinse it well. It will cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Set aside. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking. Add the olive oil to a medium sauté pan, on medium heat. Add your onions and cook until soften. Add and stir in the garlic and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Do not burn the garlic. Add the fennel seeds. Allow the fennel seeds to get warmed up in the pan, for about a minute. Add the green peas and cranberries. Stir. Add the cooked quinoa into the pan with the aromatics ( onions, fennel and garlic) and the lemon juice. Stir. Remove from heat.

Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas
Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas

Take one pasta shell at a time and gently stuff in some of the quinoa mixture. On a plate add some of the quinoa mixture on to a dish. Place the stuffed shell on top. Drizzle a nice amount of olive oil and lemon zest on top of the entire dish. If you need sauce, you can make a nice lemon vinaigrette to drizzle over this dish as well.

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