Ina First Fridays: Conchiglie al Forno with Mushrooms and Radicchio

While having lunch the other day, I was watching Ina Garten's TV show (no doubt a repeat) and she made this pasta dish. I don't eat a lot of pasta, but looking down at my boring salad and then looking up at this pasta dish coming out of the oven, what do you think I decided? I had to make it. That day and for dinner. 
After driving over to Whole Foods for the pasta, I was ready to go. This is a snap to make, doesn't take much time to put together and only 10 minutes in a really hot oven to finish. Ina was right. Again. This dish was fantastic. All those cheeses, the slight bitterness of the radicchio, those garlicky shiitake mushrooms and the crisp pasta on top! Best pasta dinner in ages. And....how easy was that?

Conchiglie al Forno with Mushrooms and Radicchio

Barefoot Contessa, International Pasta; recipe by Johanne Killeen, Al Forno Restaurant


6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups (2 medium heads) finely shredded radicchio
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup coarsely shredded fontina (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (3 ounces)
2 teaspoons ricotta
6 leaves fresh sage, chopped (see note)
1 pound imported conchiglie rigate (pasta shells)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and slice the mushroom caps about 1/4-inch thick. Heat 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet; add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mushrooms, radicchio, cream, cheeses, sage, and remaining salt.

Parboil the pasta shells for 4 minutes; drain and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Toss to combine.

Divide the pasta mixture among 6 to 8 individual, shallow, ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cup capacity). Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Ina's notes: In the absence of fresh sage, do not substitute dried. As a substitute, choose one of the following: 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon OR 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves OR 8 leaves fresh rosemary OR 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed.
Makes about 5-6 servings.



  1. This is my kind of pasta dinner! Nice and cozy :)


  2. Comforting and scrumptious!



  3. I don't blame you for HAVING to make that!!

  4. Geez Louise..Now I want some..I love pasta..love..and baked so cozy comfy.
    I just saw an episode and they were celebrating their 45th:)
    I like them..so cute still!

  5. Well of course you had to make it, there really was no choice was there? And I don't think I have a choice either...

  6. Bookmarked! I've never seen a recipe of hers that I didn't love. This one looks like a winer!

  7. Love Ina's recipes, they always turn out great, looks delicious

  8. Of course you had to make it, what would stop you. Ina's recipes seem to always be winners. I'm looking forward to her new book.

  9. OH my Barbara, I can definitely understand your choice here. It looks oh so good and yes, Ina is a favorite of mine for sure. I hope you pinned this because if not, I surely will!!! And guess what, October is National Pasta Month!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Barbara...

  10. I am a fan of Ina's recipes. This looks super duper delicious, Barbara.

  11. Great pasta dish, I love when they are finished off in the oven.

  12. Can I just say I'm drooling right now? This looks so wonderful and earthy with the mushrooms and radicchio! Oh my, my.

  13. This looks awesome. And fancy! Ina has the best recipes.

    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  14. I have no doubt that this thing is delicious! Lucky you had a salad for lunch, because this thing is an ass-buster! Hello cream and butter! Probably well worth it, though. :)

  15. Barbara, Your dish looks deliciously mouthwatering! Pasta is always a favorite in my house! Mushrooms and radicchio sound like perfect additions!

  16. Hi Barbara,

    Your pasta meal looks so good - I had lunch out on Friday at a French restaurant and had Pasta with chicken, mushroom and choritzo and it was so good.
    Happy weekend

  17. Beautiful pasta, Barbara! (Sorry if I posted twice here.) I think that even though it's quite rich that since there's no meat --and we'd all have had a salad for lunch--right?--that there's not too much to worry about. I hate that anything made with wheat has gotten such a bad rap in recent years. I often choose Whole Foods 365 brand whole wheat pasta, which is very tasty and does increase the fiber, etc. GO PASTA!!

  18. I love a good pasta dish now and then and Ina's are always so good. I can't wait for her new book to come out - next week I think Costco should have it.

  19. I always love a good pasta dish, this looks solid and comforting :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  20. ha! A boring salad and watching Ina on the TV making a great pasta dish is enough to send anyone over the top. Looks delicious Barbara.

  21. Incredible. Another must-try...



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