ARTICHOKE-LEMON-RICOTTA STUFFED PASTA SHELLS

This Artichoke-Lemon-Ricotta pasta dish went over surprisingly well considering the absence of meat (my guys do like their beef, poultry, pork, and seafood). If not that it was just the three of us tonight, there wouldn’t have been a morsel left. But guess what’s for lunch tomorrow. Lucky me!

Artichoke-Lemon-Ricotta Pasta Shells

spray olive oil

1 tbsp olive oil

6 tbsp butter, divided

1 red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

8 oz marinated artichokes, drained and chopped

1/4 cup white cooking wine

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan-Romano blend cheese

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided

1 tsp sea salt, divided

1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

18-20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente

1 tbsp minced parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly oil a casserole dish (I used a 10×10) with olive oil spray

2) To large skillet add 1 tbsp olive oil and 3 tbsp butter (reserving 3 tbsp); heat over medium-high and, when butter melts, add onion, red bell pepper, and artichoke; cook, stirring often, 7-8 minutes until vegetables soften

3) Reduce heat to medium, add cooking wine, and cook 3 minutes; stir in parmesan-romano cheese, egg yolks, 1 tbsp lemon juice (reserving 1 tbsp), 1/2 tsp salt (reserving 1/2 tsp), and 1/4 tsp pepper (reserving 1/4 tsp), and immediately remove from heat; transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside

4) To large skillet, add reserved 3 tbsp butter and melt over medium heat; scatter flour over butter and whisk until smooth; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth and sauce thickens; stir in ricotta, reserved 1 tbsp lemon juice, reserved 1/2 tsp salt, and reserved 1/4 tsp pepper; remove from heat

5) Pour half the sauce in bottom of casserole dish; fill each pasta shell with about 1 tbsp artichoke mixture and arrange over sauce; pour remaining sauce over shells; cover dish with foil and bake in oven 25 minutes; remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4-6

Advertisements

CHICKEN-CREAM CHEESE-BLACK BEAN PASTA SHELL TACOS

Spring break and Junior is happily home and hungry. Though the refrigerator and pantry is stocked with the ingredients to make one of several planned meals, I opted for a cross between Mexican and Italian fare. Chicken-Cream Cheese-Black Bean Pasta Shell Tacos resulted and was quickly devoured. Need I say “all thumbs up”?

Chicken-Cream Cheese-Black Bean Pasta Shell Tacos

2-1/2 cups salsa, divided

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cups shredded and chopped deli-roasted chicken (or 2 cans chicken breasts, drained)

1-15 oz can black beans, drained

1-4 oz can diced green chiles

1-8 oz package reduced fat cream cheese

1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin (divided)

2 tbsp taco seasoning

20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente according to package directions

1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Spread 1-1/2 cups salsa (reserving 1 cup) in bottom of 11×9″ casserole dish; set aside

3) In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat; add chicken, black beans, green chiles, and cream cheese; stirring often, cook 8 minutes; stir in scallions (reserving 1 tbsp for topping) and taco seasoning and cook 2 minutes; remove from heat

4) Spoon chicken-cream cheese mixture into cooked pasta shells, about 2 tbsp each; place filled shells atop salsa in baking dish and pour 1 cup reserved salsa over the top; bake 25 minutes; scatter cheese and reserved 1 tbsp scallions over shells and cook additional 5 minutes; remove from oven, scatter avocados and tomatoes over top, and serve

Servings: 4-5