Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shells Baked with Tomato, Cream, Corn and Five Cheeses

There is a great restaurant not to far from us in Providence, RI named Al Forno , they are known for their baked pasta's and not taking reservations..... You have to get there early or be prepared to have a drink or two at the bar. But let me tell you it is worth it, not only are the pasta's amazing they make seasonal tarts that are to die for.  So whats the next best thing to eating there, having their cookbook so you can make some of their yummy dishes from the comfort of your own kitchen. Well I didn't have the cookbook, but my mother did so the last time I visited my mom's house I stole I mean borrowed the cookbook, On Top of Spaghetti and boy am I glad I did!! Oh the recipes, I could make one everyday and be one happy camper!! They always use the freshest ingredients and the recipes are so simple and easy.

I have two favorite pastas dishes there, Baked Pasta with Pumpkin and the Baked Shells with Five cheeses which they didn't have in the cookbook, but they had something better!! A slightly different version of the dish this one with tomato and corn. There is nothing more comforting then a baked pasta dish and this one does not disappoint! Disclaimer: it is very rich and creamy which for me equals YUMMY!!! Hope you enjoy our version as much as we did.

Shells Baked with Tomato, Cream, Corn  and Five Cheeses

Items needed:

Baking dish
Big bowl

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

  • 2 C Light cream*
  • 1 cup pureed tomato*
  • 1/4 c Percorino Romano, grated
  • 3/4 C Fontina cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 4 tbsp Gorgonzola crumbled
  • 2 small balls fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 - 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups fresh cooked corn kernels
  • 1 lb shell pasta
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

  • Bring a large pot to a boil
  • In large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the pasta and the butter,stirring well to combine
  • Salt water generously and drop the pasta , parboil the pasta for 5 minutes, stirring often. Drain pasta ( it will be to hard to eat; it will cook further in the oven) 
  • Add the pasta to the large cheese mixture, and toss to combine, divide into 6 to 8 small gratin dishes or one medium size baking dish.
  • Dot with butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top about 10 minutes. You can test a shell for doneness just be careful it's very hot!!!

*********** The original recipe called for heavy cream... I wanted to cut some fat so I used the light cream we thought it came out fine, but if you prefer heavy it is the same measurement.
*********** The original recipe called for 1 c canned chopped tomato, I am not a big fan of chunky tomatoes but I love all products of the tomato IE: tomato sauce, ketchup, pureed tomatoes..you get the picture...so I subbed in pureed tomatoes for the chopped and loved it!!!

Eat and Enjoy!!!


Kristen at Batterlicker said...

Looks delicious! I haven't put corn in a pasta dish before, but that's a great idea to use up some corn I have on hand. Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

Corn and cheese...beautiful combo. This would make a great lunch. Thanks for sharing. MaryMoh at http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

pleasure to find such a good artical! please keep update!! ........................................

Simply Life said...

oh yum, that has to be just delicious!


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