Blck paccheri filled with lentil and shrimp sauce

Black pasta is a must for Halloween menu. We thought to use black paccheri, fill them with a sauce perfect for adults and children, give them the shape of a big spider (tarantula) and put them in the oven. The result was a success! And you, what do you think about? You might tell your children the story of a giant tarantula that, to defend her eggs (4 cherry mozzarellas), is prepared to do anything, including a real bloodbath to kill those who try to bring her eggs away.

baked pasta filled with a sauce made with lentils and shrimps
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Tarantula baked pasta
  • 25 (about 250g - 8 3/4 ounces) black paccheri pasta
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Filling
  • 2 400g (14 ounces) cans lentils
  • 200g precooked frozen shrimps
  • 50g (1 3/4 ounce) spring onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Little bunch fresh chives
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Some sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Tomato sauce
  • 350g (12 1/3 ounces) canned chopped tomatoes
  • 40g (1 1/2 ounce) spring onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • To garnish
  • 4 cherry mozzarellas
  • 2 black olives
  • Difficulty:
  • Time:
    preparation: 45 minutes
    plus thawing time for shrimps
    cooking: 45 minutes
    total: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • It serves :
  • Note:
    Easy to do recipe you can do with your children

Prepare filling.
Thaw shrimps at room temperature or follow directions on their package.
Clean and chop spring onion.
Put onion in a non-stick frying pan together with olive oil and bay leaf.
Let all fry slightly on very low heat, stirring frequently.
Remove bay leaf and add lentils, well drained from their preservation liquid, and tomato paste, diluted in a little ladle of hot water.
Season to taste with salt and let all flavor, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile clean and wash parsley and chives. Then pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
Once turned off the stove, cut in parsley and chives, very finely. Stir very well.
Pat dry thawed shrimps with absorbent kitchen paper and add them too to your filling when still hot.

Prepare tomato sauce.
Make onion, well chopped, fry slightly in olive oil in another little pan, on very low heat, stirring frequently.
Pour in chopped tomatoes, season to taste with salt and continue cooking, only for few minutes.

baked pasta with paccheri filled with lentils and shrimps zoom »
Tarantula pasta from another view

Cook pasta.
Read all directions on the package before cooking paccheri. Cook pasta in abundant salt water al dente stage (about 2 minutes less than suggested time).
Drain it with delicacy, dress with olive oil, stir with delicacy not to breack any paccheri pieces and assemble your dish quickly.

Assemble your pasta.
Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.
Put aside any broken paccheri, you'll need them to make tarantula legs.
Fill paccheri pasta with your lentil-and-shrimp mixture. Help yourself with a teaspoon.
Arrange filled paccheri to form tarantula body as you can see in the photo. Tarantula body is formed by two parts, the front part is smaller than the rear.
Proceed with tarantula legs. Use broken paccheri and cut whole paccheri into two or three parts.
Put a little filling in the center and then wrap every pacchery piece in order to get a cylinder.
Arrange four legs on each side so that they surround the smaller part of tarantula body. Remember to lengthen these legs moving towards the rear end. Look at the photos for more details.

Cook tarantula pasta.
Preheat oven to 180C (350°F).
Bake, about 20 minutes.
Just before turning off the oven, add cherry mozzarellas.
Remember to put black olives like tarantula eyes.
Serve your tarantula pasta still warm.


  • - Generally, we use black paccheri by Pastificio Leonessa. We can guarantee their goodness and especially they do not overcook in the double cooking needed in this recipe.
  • - Both adults and children like this baked pasta a lot.

What's the right wine?

Pair Greco di Tufo (white wine from Campania) to this baked pasta for a fantastic meal!