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March 6, 2015

Baked Pasta with Mushrooms

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This is my favorite take on mac-n-cheese: ruffled edge, cone-shaped campanelle pasta and savory sautéed mushrooms, baked together with a creamy but not-too-heavy cheese sauce and served bubbling hot. Serve it as a main course and no one will miss the meat! 

 

BAKED PASTA WITH MUSHROOMS 

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (16 oz.) campanelle pasta (other shapes such as rotini, rigatoni, corkscrew or medium shells would also work)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb. white or brown cremini mushrooms, sliced (stems trimmed or removed)
  • ½ teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dry sherry or white wine
  • ½ block (4 oz.) ShopRite cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • 2 cups ShopRite chicken or vegetable broth (16 oz. or ½ box)
  • 1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 cup ShopRite heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups finely grated parmesan cheese, divided (freshly grated, preferably)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente (using 1 tablespoon kosher salt in the pasta water). Drain and set aside.

SUE Baked Mushrooms pasta

Heat oven to 375ºF. In large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sauté shallots or onion in butter until softened. (2-3 minutes)

Add sliced mushrooms; stir to coat and then let cook without stirring for several minutes to brown. Stir in thyme and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.

SUE Mushrooms sauteeingSUE Mushrooms browned

Add sherry or wine and stir to deglaze the pan, loosening up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in cream cheese, chicken broth, bouillon cube or salt and cream. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add 1 cup parmesan cheese. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

SUE Baked Mushrooms mixture

Add cooked pasta to sauce and pour into an ungreased casserole dish or lasagna pan. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over top. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and sauce is bubbling.

SUE Baked Mushrooms before baking

SUE Baked Pasta Thumb

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