Put the pistachios into a heatproof bowl, pour over boiling water to cover, and let stand for 3 minutes. Drain well and when cool enough to handle, rub off the skins with your fingers. Chop the kernels and set aside.
Put the Gorgonzola and cream into a pan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth, then remove from the heat. Cook the shells in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, tip into a warmed serving dish, and toss with the melted Gorgonzola mixture, chopped pistachios, and Parmesan. Serve immediately.
"A popular type of dried short pasta, shells can be smooth or ridged and are so called because they resemble mollusk shells, 'conchiglie' in Italian. The classic sea shell shape has always been a feature of the decorative arts in Italy, and has been adopted by pasta makes too. The cavity of the pasta shells is good for catching and holding sauces, and makes it ideal for light sauces of tomato, ricotta, pesto, peas, or pine nuts. Depending on the size, largerpasta shells are called conchiglioni in Italian, smaller shells, conchigliette. Shells can also be colored with natural ingredients such as tomato or squid ink." from the Silver Spoon: Pasta
Reprinted with permission from ©Phaidon Press, The Silver Spoon: Pasta, published by Phaidon Press
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