Ricotta and Chive Pasta

My cooking is often inspired by what happens to be on hand, like some delicious ricotta left over from a cooking class and a huge bunch of chives from a herb patch gone berserk. That’s how this dish came about.

Serves: 6 as an entrée

Ingredients

500g large pasta shells (see below)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
600g ricotta
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 bunches chives, finely sliced
1 lemon, zest finely grated.

Taleggio Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
500ml single cream
200g Taleggio*
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste.

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cook pasta in plenty of well-salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain well, toss gently with oil and spread out on a tray to cool.

Meanwhile, make Taleggio Sauce: heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and cook, covered, for about 6 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add cream and boil for a couple of minutes until slightly thickened. Reduce heat, add Taleggio and nutmeg and stir until cheese melts. Set aside.

Combine ricotta, egg, chives and lemon zest.

Pour Taleggio Sauce into a large baking dish.

Fill shells with ricotta mixture, gently squeezing them back into shape, and arrange them in the baking dish in a single layer.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until just starting to brown.

Serve immediately.

Note: You won’t need all the pasta shells for this recipe, but some always break so it’s best to cook them all. You can turn the leftovers into a delicious mac’n’cheese.

*Taleggio has a mild and tangy flavour. Good substitutes are Brie, Gorgonzola Dolce and Fontina.

Roberta Muir is a food, wine and travel writer and manager of the Sydney Seafood School. Visit her website for more recipes and insights.

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Written by Roberta Muir

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