Earthy flavors abound in this recipe featuring fresh mushrooms and three cheeses.
Recipe makes 6 servings.
- 1 1/2 cups sliced portabella mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups sliced shitake mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 6 tbsp butter
- 6 tbsp flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups cream
- 8 ounces herb chevre, crumbled
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces Parmesan Romano cheese, divided in half
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (substitute 50% for dried herb)
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced (substitute 50% for dried herb)
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced (substitute 50% for dried herb)
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup Panko
- 1 pound elbow pasta
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place a large pot of water over high heat and cover.
- Place a large sauté pan with 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until the mushrooms are fully cooked and slightly caramelized. Toss or stir occasionally. Season with a touch of salt and black pepper then deglaze the pan with sherry vinegar. Allow all of the vinegar to cook out, then remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
- Start the cheese sauce by adding 3 tablespoons butter to a medium-sized sauce pan and putting the pan on the stove over medium heat. Once all the butter is melted and hot, whisk in 3 tablespoons flour. Cook the flour, whisking, for about 1 minute. Add the thyme, rosemary, sage, and red pepper flakes.
- Continue stirring and allow the herbs to sauté for about 1 minute.
- Slowly pour in the milk while whisking continuously, so the roux and milk incorporate smoothly and there are no lumps. Add the cream.
- Allow the béchamel to come to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pasta to the water and cook the pasta for a minute or two less than the suggested time on the box.
- Once the béchamel has reached a simmer, stir in the herbed chevre cheese, Cheddar cheese and 4 ounces of Parmesan Romano cheese, until all the cheese has melted.
- Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper as necessary.
- In small mixing bowl, mix together the Panko and remaining 4 ounces of Parmesan Romano cheese.
- Strain the cooked pasta immediately and toss the pasta, cheese sauce, and mushrooms together. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a deep glass or ceramic loaf pan and sprinkle the Panko/Parmesan mixture evenly across the top. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and the cheese sauce is bubbly.