Huffpost Taste

Baked Three-Cheese Pasta with Parsley Pesto and Shrimp

Posted: Updated:

Baked Three-Cheese Pasta with Parsley Pesto and Shrimp

Baked Three-Cheese Pasta with Parsley Pesto and Shrimp
Joseph Erdos
total prep
This triple cheese dish is hearty, flavorful and comforting, all in one grown-up package.


  • 12 ounces cavatappi
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk, heated
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 cup grated Fontina
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan plus 1/4 cup for topping
  • 1/4 cup parsley pesto, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • chopped parsley, for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Cook cavatappi according to package directions in liberally salted water. Cut shrimp into bite-size chunks.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thick roux forms, about 2 minutes. Whisk in hot milk and cook, constantly whisking, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix in cheeses and pesto. Combine with cooked pasta and shrimp.
  • Spread mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Melt remaining butter and drizzle over top. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling. To brown top, set under broiler for no more than 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Parsley Pesto

  • 1 bunch parsley, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • Add parsley and walnuts to a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. Drizzle in oil and process until smooth. Season with salt. Leftover pesto can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or frozen in a resealable plastic bag. Yield: 1 cup.