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Shell Shock Three Cheese Pasta with Ham & Peppers

  • 1 pound shell pasta
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 ounces sliced ham, pancetta or Canadian bacon
  • 1/2 cup fire roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt, pepper

Prepare shell pasta according to directions, but remove from heat and drain when slightly undercooked (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, saute chopped onion in 1/2 cup chicken stock about 4 minutes till tender. Add ham, continue to cook 2 minutes. Add chopped fire roasted red peppers, remaining chicken stock, sage, cayenne pepper and parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer and reduce slightly, then remove from heat. Combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, egg, salt and pepper in separate bowl for filling. Combine pasta and ham/pepper sauce. In oven-proof casserole dish, layer 1/2 pasta mixture, the ricotta filling, and the remainder of the pasta mixture. Top with the mozzarella, the remaining 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or so till golden brown and bubbly. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-8.

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