4 cups of milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
10 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
4 pinches nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound large pasta shells
2 bunches fresh spinach, cleaned and dried, or 1 package frozen
3/4 cup ricotta
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until hot but not boiling.
At the same time, combine flour and butter in another heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon or whisk until the mixture has gently bubbled for 2 minutes. Be careful not to brown the flour.
Begin to add the hot milk to the flour mixture a little at a time while whisking vigorously. Continue to add the milk until it is fully incorporated. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring constanly, until the mixture thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes. it will look like heavy cream. Crumble the cheese and add it to the hot béchamel sauce, whisking continuously until smooth. Add the nutmeg and pepper and stir. Remove form heat and let cool.
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.
If using fresh spinach, blanch it 1 to 2 minutes in a little boiling water. Drain it, let it cool, and squeeze all of the water out several times. if you are using frozen spinach, let it defrost in a sieve over a bowl for at least 3 hours. Squeeze all the water out by hand.
Toss the pasta, Gorgonzola sauce, spinach, ricotta, and garlic in a large bowl until well combined. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.
Place in a 12 X 17-inch casserole dish and top with the Parmesan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese browns a little. you may make this a day ahead, and before baking, refrigerate well covered.