Gorgonzola & Walnut Stuffed Shells

Gorgonzola & Walnut Stuffed Shells

A velvety, satisfying pasta shell filled with a rich, tangy mixture of Gorgonzola, sweet ricotta cheese and crunchy walnuts.

Ingredients

  • 20-22 large dry pasta shells (about 6 ounces dry weight, each shell should be about 2 inches long)

For the filling:

  • 5 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • 5 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped, toasted California walnuts

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup canned, roasted red peppers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put a large pot of salted water (for pasta shells) on high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Make the filling: combine the Gorgonzola and ricotta cheese with the egg yolk in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add walnuts and process in on/off spurts junt until blended.
  5. Scrape filling into a large bowl and set aside while you make the sauce.
  6. Make the sauce: puree the roasted red peppers in the food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  7. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add flour and garlic and cook, whisking constantly, for about 1 minute.
  8. Add milk and whisk until smooth.
  9. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently, then blend in wine and red pepper puree.
  10. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  11. Cook the pasta: drop pasta shells into boiling, salted water and cook until they are barely tender, about 9 to 10 minutes.
  12. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water, then place, open side down, on paper towels to drain.
  13. Assemble and bake the shells: get out a 9"x12" oval or 9" square baking dish just large enough to hold the stuffed shells in one layer. Coat baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  14. Spread half the red pepper sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
  15. Spoon a generous tablespoon of filling into each pasta shell and place, filled side up, in the baking dish. Fill all shells, then spoon remaining sauce over filled shells and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  16. Cover with foil and bake about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes more, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.