March 17, 2021


Recipe by Chef Denise Paul Shavandy
Serves 4


  • 1 Lb Cavatappi Pasta
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Can Cannellini Beans
  • 1 Lb Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 Oz Asiago Cheese (Shredded)
  • 1/2 Cup Reserve Pasta Water
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (In Oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts (Toasted)
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Shredded)
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil


  • Pasta
    Bring 1 1/2 gallons of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt. Add pasta and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook pasta very al dente, about 3-4 minutes less than package recommendations (pasta will finish cooking when baked.) Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water, drain remaining water and rinse pasta in cool water to stop the cooking process. Reserve pasta and 1/4 cup pasta water.


  • Pesto
    Drain sun dried tomatoes and add to food processor bowl. Add remaining ingredients for pesto and process till smooth.


  • Assembly
    Preheat oven 400 degrees.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine sundried tomato pesto, reserved pasta water, and 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir to combine. Drain cannellini beans. Add beans and cooked pasta to pesto. Stir to combine. Transfer 1/2 of
    the pasta mixture to 8” x 10” casserole dish. Add 1/2 pound of ricotta by dropping spoonfuls of ricotta over pasta. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the shredded Asiago cheese. Add remaining pasta mixture to the casserole dish. Top with the other half of ricotta, dropped in spoonfuls over the top of pasta. Sprinkle top with remaining Asiago cheese. Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve pasta hot with a side Caesar Salad and LangeTwins Redtail Nero d’Avola.


  • Note
    You can cook the pasta and make the pesto the day before. You can even assemble the casserole the day before and just pop in the oven to heat. If you prepared the casserole the day before, refrigerate overnight, and remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking to bring to room temperature so it will heat more evenly.


Chef Denise Paul Shavandy

Chef Denise Paul Shavandy

Chef Denise Paul Shavandy is currently the Executive Chef at Café Modern in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Her menus change seasonally with a focus on local products from artisan cheese to meat and produce. She enjoys incorporating flavors from across the globe like Moroccan influenced spice blends, Indian style curries, and vibrant flavors from across Asia. She has owned three restaurants, served as executive chef and recipe development for a large grocery chain, spent time as college culinary instructor, and taught classes for home cooks. Chef Denise is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and is a Food Network Chopped winner! She loves wearing wacky socks, has a black belt in tae kwon do, and spends her free time riding her motorcycle and practicing yoga.
“I love incorporating vibrant flavors from across the globe.”

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