Al Forno's Pasta in the Pink

cuisine Italian
difficulty Simple
season Winter
serves 4


4 red bell peppers, charred and peeled 1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese 1/2 cup coarsely shredded fontina 2 tablespoons ricotta 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 pound imported penne or conchiglie rigate or any sturdy, short pasta 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.
  3. Halve the peppers, remove the seeds, and puree them in a blender. You should have about 1 cup of puree.
  4. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except pasta shells and butter.
  5. Parboil the pasta for 4 minutes. Drain and add to the ingredients in the bowl, tossing to combine.
  6. Divide the pasta mixture among 4 individual, shallow gratin dishes. Dot with butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, about 10 to 12 minutes.