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CONCHIGLIONI RIPIENI AL FORNO
(Large Stuffed Shells)
(Serves 20 for buffet, 8-10 as a pasta course)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup Tomato-Basil Sauce

4 1/2 cups milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

12-ounce box large (2-inch) pasta shells
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the
meat and cook, stirring, until browned. Raise the heat to high,
stir in the wine, and let most of it evaporate. Lower the heat to
medium, add the tomato sauce, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes,
or until thickened. Set aside.

In a large saucepan scald the milk (bring to just under a boil).
Set aside.

In another large saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour to
make a smooth paste, and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Slowly
whisk in the hot milk, and cook, whisking, until the sauce thickens
enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the salt. Remove from
the heat, and stir in the ragu until well blended. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly butter a 14 x 8-inch baking dish.
Using a spoon, fill the shells with the ragu mixture and place them
close together in the baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the milk and heavy cream. Slowly pour evenly
over the shells. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Cover with
aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

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