This is high-class macaroni and cheese. 😉 Fancy comfort food. A delicious vegetarian main course. What’s not to love? My favorite pasta shape- orecchiette- with earthy mushrooms, salty Parmigiano Reggiano, and fabulous melted fontina cheese. Prior to incorporating the mushrooms with the pasta, they are roasted with rosemary which infuses them with amazing flavor. Delicious.
This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used two cloves of garlic and a combination of cremini and shiitake mushrooms. I also decreased the baking temperature to 475 degrees (because I was worried about damaging my special casserole dish). No worries- it was still brown and bubbly. 🙂
Now that spring has sprung, I thought that I may have missed my chance to post this cozy dish, but it may snow here tonight! So I suppose I’m safe.
Yield: Serves 6
- 1 pound mixed wild or cultivated mushrooms, such as oyster, maitake and shiitake (I used 12 oz cremini mushrooms and 4 oz shiitake mushrooms.)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus a few grinds
- 2 fresh rosemary branches
- ½ pound orecchiette, farfalle or other short pasta
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup fresh ricotta
- 5 ounces fontina cheese, grated (1 1/4 cups)
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated (I used a garlic press.)
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Trim the mushrooms and cut into 1-inch pieces. Toss with the olive oil, the salt, a few grinds of pepper and the rosemary. Spread on a large baking sheet and roast, tossing once or twice, until golden brown and crisped around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Discard rosemary.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for at least a few minutes less than the package directs. (You want the pasta very al dente; it will finish softening in the sauce.) Drain well.
- Turn oven up to 475 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cream, ricotta, fontina, Parmesan, sage, pepper, garlic and a pinch of salt
- Stir in the pasta and mushrooms.
- Arrange in a shallow 2-quart gratin dish or 9- by 13-inch pan.
- Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly and browned in spots, 10 to 15 minutes.
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