March 27, 2010

White Wine and Cheddar Shells

Sometimes my randomly thrown-together meals work out even better than my well-thought out, planned experiments. This is one such. Last night I just pulled whatever I had out of the pantry and came up with this beauty. It's not hard and it's relatively quick to make. I don't have specific measurements - adjust the proportions according to how many servings you need.


Pasta shells
1 T butter
1 T flour
Pino Grigio or Chardonnay
grated rosemary cheddar (or regular cheddar)
diced ham
baby spinach, coarsely chopped
garlic and wine seasoning

Preheat the oven to 350. Boil the pasta until just al dente - drain and set aside in an oven-safe pan. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once it is frothy, stir in the flour. After the mixture blends smoothly, add a small amount of wine. Melt about 1/2 the cheddar into the wine mixture, adding more wine if needed to produce a thick but still liquid and silky texture. Pour the sauce over the pasta, adding the ham and spinach and stir to thoroughly coat the pasta. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the garlic and wine seasoning on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cheese browns and bubbles.

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