This was last nights dinner - it took a lot of time to make it but it was sooo worth it.
Paccheri & Cheese with Peas & Mint
2 tbsp olive oil, to brush on pan
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for pan prep
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3-4 cups of milk
1 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
1 large egg
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 lb paccheri pasta (or penne rigati)
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups shredded spinach*
1 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped plus
2 tbsp fresh mint
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
Grease a 9” springform pan with olive oil. Dust with Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Place 1/4 cup oil in a large saucepan over MED heat. Add flour; whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, bring to a simmer, and whisk often. Reduce heat to MED. Cool, whisking frequently, until sauce is thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Fontina and whisk. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese, egg and whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Cover sauce and keep it warm.
Arrange a rack in upper third of oven. Preheat to 375 degrees F. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente (pasta will cook more in the oven). Using a large slotted spoon, transfer pasta to a large bowl. Add peas to pasta water and cook for 1 minutes. Drain peas; add to bowl with pasta. Stir in cheese sauce. Add spinach, 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup mint to pasta mixture; mix to evenly incorporate.
Transfer half of pasta mixture to prepared pan. Mix ricotta and zest in a small bowl and dot half of the ricotta mixture on top of pasta mixture. Spoon remaining pasta into pan and dot with remaining ricotta-lemon mixture. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 30 minutes so it is easier to slice.
Sprinkle with 2 tbsp parsley and remaining mint and cut into wedges.
Nutritional information: Per serving – 26.6g fat, 14g sat fat, 99.5mg cholesterol, 56.4g carbo, 3.8g dietary fiber, 9.1g sugar, 32.9g protein, 754.6mg sodium
*original calls for arugula.
I used a penne type pasta for the Paccheri. If you can get it, use it.
This is not a dish for everyday, it is fairly high in fat and calories, and sodium. This is definitely for special occasions.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Source: Epicurious.com (Bon Appetit March 2012)
Posted by RisaG