Pasta for Dessert: Stuffed Shells With Strawberries & Whipped Cream
Conchiglie di Pasta with Screaming Strawberry Compote
This recipe was created because of the "screaming strawberries." Mom had organic strawberries in the fridge and we hadn't done anything with them. (Except consume a few of them). I decided to do something a little different with them this time. The recipe turned out great and everyone loved it. I could tell due to the testimony of the emptied plates.
I also used some lonely cranberries from the freezer in this recipe. They aren't a requirement but they did add another dimension of flavor to the compote. I didn't use any thickeners in the strawberry/cranberry mixture. I simply let it cook for a little while on the stove so the sauce in the compote would be reduced.
Try this one out and let me know what you think about it. It's a very easy recipe and it doesn't require intense preparation.
This dish tastes even better on Day 2, if you happen to have any left!!
- 12-16 ounces strawberries, washed, stems removed, roughly chopped
- Smidgen of water, (about 1/8 cup)
- 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 12 jumbo pasta shells, cooked "al dente", drained
- 1 cup heavy cream whipped, stiff peak
- Assemble all ingredients and kitchen tools. Recommended equipment: chef's knife, cutting board, colander, 1-2 quart saucepan, mixer, mixing bowls, stirring spoons, pastry bag with tips (optional), 8"x12"x2" baking pan.
- Throw chopped strawberries in the sauce pot. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sugar. Cook on low to medium heat until the strawberries release their juices. Cook a little longer on low heat to reduce the sauce. Allow mixture to cool. (You can place it in the freezer to accelerate the cooling but don't allow the mixture to freeze.)
- Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix it for a minute or two. Add sugar & 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix well.
- Set oven to preheat at 350 degrees. Using a spoon (or a pastry bag), fill each pasta shell with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture. There should be enough cream cheese mixture for all 12 shells.
- Fetch your strawberry mixture. Spoon enough of the compote into the baking pan to cover the bottom. Place pasta shells on top of mixture. Spoon the rest of the compote on top of the stuffed shells.
- Place in oven for 5-6 minutes. You just want it warmed up, not too hot.
- Make whipped cream: place cream in mixing bowl. Add remainder of sugar (1 teaspoon), add remainder of vanilla (1/2 teaspoon). Beat until firm peaks are formed. (Don't beat it too much or you'll have sweetened butter...not that sweetened butter is a bad thing).
- For service: Place 2-3 shells & compote onto each dessert dish. Top with freshly whipped cream (or use your pastry bag with a large star tip to make it a little snazzier).
- Enjoy your dessert! It's very pleasing to the palate!