Pasta Shells with Artichoke Hearts and Lemon Ricotta Bechamel

Shells are the perfect vehicle for the artichoke filling (browned butter, artichoke hearts and lots of cheese) and traditional bechamel sauce is amped up with lemon and ricotta. Don't let the bechamel sauce intimidate you --- it has a French name, but is one of the easiest sauces to make. Melt butter, whisk in flour then milk and whisk until it thickens. That's it. So easy. The bechamel is a wonderful creamy sauce that pairs perfectly with the pasta. Cook the pasta and make the filling early in the dinner to save time. This is a one pot + one baking dish meal which feeds a crowd and has minimal cleanup. A great, easy family friendly dinner.

Pasta Shells with Artichoke Hearts and Lemon Ricotta Bechamel

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Serves: 6 Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • For the Shells:
  • 18 jumbo pasta shells (about half of a 12 ounce box)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 large egg yoks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • For the Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • Freshly chopped Italian-leaf parsley, to garnish


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