baked shells with fontina and parmesan bread crumbs

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  20 minutes
servings:  4 - 6

1 pound small shells
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces italian fontina cheese
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/23 cup plan bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

1.  prepare shells according to package directions, but cook only until they are 1 - 2 minutes shy of al dente.  then drain.

2.  meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large bowl.  warm the cream in the microwave, about 1 minute.  cover to keep the cream warm.  shred the fontina.

3.  stir the shells into the bowl with the butter.  toss to coat well.  stir in the warm cream and fontina, and stir until the cheese starts to melt.  season with salt to taste and the nutmeg.

4.  pour the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 ceramic or glass baking dish.  combine the bread crumbs and parmigiano-reggiano, and sprinkle over the pasta.  dice the remaining tablespoon butter, and dot the crumb topping with small pieces of butter.

5.  bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 20 minutes.  serve immediately.

- ezra pound cake

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