We were sceptical about this recipe when we saw it made. We almost passed it by. Glad we didn't as it has become a favorite. I don't know if everyone has access to tasso, but if you have a smoker or gas grill, it is easy to make. I think a close substitution would be hot capicola or really spicy Spanish chorizo. Macaroni and Cheese My Way Recipe courtesy Jan Birnbaum Ingredients 18 pieces extra-large shell pasta 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup, 1/4" diced tasso ham 5 large shallots, minced or you can use red onion 1 clove garlic, mined 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup white wine 2 cups cream 1 cup grated fontina 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 18 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 cups gently packed spinach Kosher salt and ground white pepper Hot pepper sauce, to taste (recommended: Tabasco) 1/2 cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves Method 1) Preheat broiler. 2) Bring a large post of water to a rolling boil, add pasta shells and cook al dente, according to package instructions. 3) Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add the olive oil and tasso, cook until just crisp, 4) Add shallots and garlic. Cook and stir over moderate heat just until shallots are translucent. 5) Add the flour, cook stirring constantly to blend and toast the flour, about 5 minutes. 6) Add the white wine, reduce until almost dry. 7) Add the cream, bring to a simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. 8) Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses, shrimp and spinach. Gently stir until cheese is melted, spinach is wilted and shrimp is beginning to turn pink. 9) Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. 10) Season with hot sauce, to taste. 11) Drain the pasta, making sure to shake all of the water off and out of the shells. 12) In a large ovenproof baking dish, place drained shells. 13) Add the cheese and shrimp mixture and gently fold into the pasta. 14) Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and chopped parsley. 15) Place under the broiler until the breadcrumbs are toasted about 2 to 3 minutes.