Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Have you ever stuffed a shell? It's not as easy as it looks, but the outcome was excellent. It was a bit rich for me so I only ate half of my serving. Patrick wanted the garlic cheese biscuits as well but I said no way... TOO MUCH CHEESE! This is the second recipe of Giada de Laurentils that I've tried and have loved. She really knows what she's doing!
Courtesy Giada De Laurentils
Shells: 1 (12-ounce) package jumbo shells pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound thick-cut pancetta, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (or regular bacon)
2 pounds frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta
1 cup grated asiago cheese (I used a store bought Italian mixture)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter 1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup cream
2 cups grated asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
For the shells: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach, ricotta cheese, asiago cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Stuff the shells with about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture each and place the stuffed shells in a large, buttered baking dish.
For the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to very low and add the 2 cups asiago cheese, parsley, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is dissolved. Pour the sauce over the shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup asiago cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.