Baked Shells With Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce And Italian Sausage

Serving 6 people

120 min


  • asiago cheese 1/2 cup finely shredded, aged Asiago cheese, plus additional for garnishing
  • canned tomatoes 1/2 cup canned tomatoes
  • fontina cheese 3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • garlic 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • half and half 1/2 cup half and half
  • heavy cream 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • italian sausage 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • kosher salt Kosher salt
  • olive oil 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • onion 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • pasta shells 1 (16-ounce) package medium-size pasta shells
  • red peppers 5 medium red peppers
  • ricotta cheese 2 1/2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • unsalted butter 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
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How to make it

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Place the whole peppers on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Transfer to the oven to cook, turning every 10 minutes, until the skins are wrinkled and the peppers are charred about 35 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately gather up the foil to seal into a pouch around the peppers.
  5. Let rest for 30 minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, cut in half and remove and discard stems and seeds.
  6. Removed charred peels and discard. Puree roasted peppers in a blender or food processor until smooth and reserve.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 450°F.
  8. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add Italian sausage and brown, breaking into small bits using a spoon. When sausage is nearly done the cooking, add onions and garlic and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables start to soften and get translucent about 5 minutes.
  9. Add tomatoes, heavy cream, half and half, and reserved pepper puree. Raise heat slightly and bring to a boil.
  10. Let simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  11. Add ricotta, Fontina, Asiago, and cooked pasta. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt.
  12. Transfer pasta to a 9
  13. by 13-inch baking pan or casserole dish with high sides. Dot with butter and place in the oven to cook until brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving with additional shredded Asiago cheese.