Just like Asia, I feel like my blog is a major juxtaposition.
Context? I could be having an Australian Chardonnay in a new hipster bar in Kuala Lumpur and across the road is a wild goat. Just roaming. Just because. And my blog? I make delicious gluten free/paleo recipes and then I post arguably the most unhealthy and utterly delicious dinner for y’all. Just because.
This is unfortunately (fortunately) the latter. Because how good is baked, cheese based pasta. That’s right…. the answer is very good. And those who feel too guilty to enjoy these guilty pleasure. Tell yourself you are beautiful, those curves are sexy and eat the baked cheese goodness. As Charlotte says on SATC…. I choose my choice!
Artichoke & ricotta stuffed pasta
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Packet of large pasta shells
1tbs olive oil
1 onion roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup white wine
1 can of artichokes
1/2 grated parmesan
2 tbs lemon juice
Salt & pepper
1/2 plain flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of nutmeg
2tsp lemon juice
Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 170.
Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions although take off the heat just before fully cooked. Leave aside.
Heat the olive oil in a pan then sweat the onion and garlic from 10 minutes on a low heat. Add the wine and cook until the liquid has disappeared. Take off the heat and put aside.
In the meantime melt the butter in a medium sized pot. Once melted, over a low heat add the flour stirring until the mixture is combined. It will be a thick dough. Now, gradually begin to add the milk. Do this at 1/4 cups at a time, continuously whisk as you go. You want a thick but moveable sauce here so if you need to add more milk, go ahead. Stir through the ricotta, nutmeg and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. This mixture will need a fair bit of salt.
Put the onion mixture along with all the other filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Remember the pasta and béchamel will even out the intensity here.
Pour 3/4 of the béchamel over your oven proof dish. Now, carefully spoon the artichoke mixture into the par cooked shells and place gently onto the béchamel, pushing down slightly into the sauce.
Once your oven dish is full spoon over a little béchamel into each shell. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and cook for a further 10 minutes to get a golden colour on the tops of the shells.
Serve up with extra parmesan and chopped basil if you wish. While this dish will enable a “wow” moment, the intensity will require a green salad on the side.