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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Shells in Cream Sauce

Suzanne is a former regional magazine publisher, as well as a cooking and gardening writer. She lives in North Carolina.

"Oh My God! I Can't Stop Eating This!"

This is my own recipe about which people yell: "Oh my God, this is so good, I can't stop eating this!" It is simple and is even better the next day (if there is any left over). Serve with a nice salad and garlic bread.

You will win rave reviews when you serve this pasta dish!

You will win rave reviews when you serve this pasta dish!

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Shells in Cream Sauce

1/4 lb. prosciutto, diced

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 package frozen spinach, cooked and well-drained

1/2 stick butter

1 jar Classico Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

1 small can tomato paste

1 quart half and half

1 pint heavy cream

1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, your preference

Dash of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 16-oz. package medium shells, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Render the proscuitto in the olive oil until crisp. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot and stir in the sun-dried pesto, tomato paste, half and half, cream, cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the prosciutto, spinach and shells.

Turn into a large oven-proof casserole and bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Pass the cheese!

Make Your Own Sundried-Tomato Pesto

Variations on a Theme

I've experimented with this recipe and want to share some variations:

  • Instead of the sun-dried tomato pesto, substitute the Classico Basil Pesto
  • Instead of proscuitto, substitute diced pepperoni, diced chicken or ham
  • Instead of chopped spinach, substitute chopped kale
  • Instead of Parmesan, substitute Feta cheese

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Comments

Buck on January 25, 2015:

Kewl you should come up with that. Exlteclne!

Suzanne Sheffield (author) from Mid-Atlantic on April 06, 2012:

Yes, that pesto and cream/half and half together makes a pink sauce that fills up the shells. I never make it the same way twice, am always experimenting with my recipes, but basically it is very simple. You can add more Parm or Romano, leave out the spinach, use chicken, whatever. You can't go wrong.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 06, 2012:

This sounds rich and delicious. Definitely not a diet dish...but one to be enjoyed occasionally. I can tell that the flavors would be wonderful. Thanks. Voted up!

Suzanne Sheffield (author) from Mid-Atlantic on March 23, 2012:

It is my favorite pasta dish. Thanks!

Micheal from United Kingdom on March 22, 2012:

This sounds like a great dish, bookmarked.

Suzanne Sheffield (author) from Mid-Atlantic on March 12, 2012:

It is SERIOUSLY scrumptious!

rjsadowski on March 12, 2012:

A nice recipe. It looks both tasty and easy to make.

Suzanne Sheffield (author) from Mid-Atlantic on May 29, 2011:

Your very welcome! Please let me know what you think.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on May 29, 2011:

I have bookmarked this recipe as it sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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