Wednesday, September 28, 2011


SERVES 4 - 6

1 oz (25g) dried porcini mushrooms


5 tbsp (75g) butter 4 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups (750ml) milk
salt, black pepper, nutmeg

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30g) butter
8 0z (250g) cremini or wild mushrooms, finely sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb (500g) dried pasta
6 tbsp freshly grated parmesan

Soak the porcini. Drain mushroom pieces, reserving the soaking liquid, and finely chop. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C ).
For bechamel, melt butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook until foaming, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually pour in milk, whisking constantly. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Stir in porcini mushrooms and reserved soaking liquid. In a small pan, melt butter with oil and add fresh mushrooms, thyme, and garlic. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are just colored, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in to bechamel.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, until just firm to the bite. Drain. Combine drained pasta and mushroom bechamel. Add 2 tbsp of the parmesan. Toss. Place in a buttered 12in x 8in x 3in (30cm x 20cm x 7.5cm) oven-proof dish. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over top. Bake until golden and bubbling, 10 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Tubes or shells - penne, macaroni, rigatoni, conchiglie.


Assemble and leave to cool completely unbaked. Cover, unbaked, and refrigerate up to 1 day in advance. Alternatively, freeze up to 3 weeks in advance. Defrost overnight in refrigerator. Cook in preheated 400°F (200°C) oven for 30 minutes.

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