Baked Pasta with Tomatoes, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Prosciutto

The ultimate in easy, one-pan dishes, make a recipe from any of our past or present IHCC chefs for a casserole or a sheet pan meal. Also, feel free to share any of your past favorite casserole or sheet pan recipes from our IHCC chefs in your post!

I grew up in a household where casseroles were omnipresent.  And since I grew up in the 70s and 80s, those casseroles’ base ingredient was usually Campbell Soup Cream ‘o Something.  I remember a pretty tasty Cheeseburger Casserole and I loved mom’s Shepherd Pie concoction.   I have always perceived casseroles as retro.   I was glad to peruse through Reichl’s recipes to find a more modern and elevated version (with no soup cans in sight).

This is not your mama’s casserole.

Baked Pasta with Tomatoes, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Prosciutto

From The Gourmet Cookbook (p 225)  (It was also featured in Gourmet, November 1991.)

“A good casserole can be a lifesaver when entertaining, because most of the work is done before your guests arrive.  This one is easy and elegant.  Although it is Italian in spirit, we use an Asian mushroom in place of a more traditional one and a blend of three cheeses rather than the usual mozzarella.”

I halved the original recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 t. dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 t. dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/2 t.  dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and the caps sliced
  • 1/4 stick (1/8 cup) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 (28-ounce) cans Italian tomatoes, drained well and chopped
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
  • 1/8 lb. Italian Fontina, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/8 lb. Gorgonzola, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/3 c. minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lb. farfalle (large bow-tie-shaped pasta) or penne (quill-shaped macaroni)

Instructions

  1. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.  Butter a small,  shallow baking dish.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over moderately low heat.  Add onion, the garlic, the red pepper flakes, the basil, and the oregano in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large bowl.
  3. In the skillet melt 1 1/2  tablespoons of the butter over moderately low heat, whisk in the flour, and cook the roux, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the milk in a stream, whisking, and simmer the mixture, whisking, for 2 minutes, or until it is thickened. Pour the sauce over the mushroom mixture and add the tomatoes, the prosciutto, the Fontina, the Gorgonzola, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and the parsley.
  4. Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 T. salt per every 4 quarts water) for 5 minutes (pasta will not be tender).  Drain well.
  5. Add the pasta and salt and pepper to taste to the mushroom mixture, toss the mixture until it is combined well, and transfer it to a buttered baking dish.  Sprinkle the pasta with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, dot it with the remaining  butter, cut into bits.  Bake it in the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the pasta is tender.

Cook’s Note:  The casserole can be assembled up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.  Bring to room temperature, then sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter before baking.

Yield: 6-8

Active Time: 1 hour

Start to Finish: 2 hours

This is a delicious smelling dish from start to finish.  The onions, basil, oregano and red pepper is remarkable.  Then add the mushrooms…delicious aroma!

I usually don’t take photos of recipes in process like above, mostly because I don’t have time.   But, for this post I wasn’t sure I would get the final product done today.  I took advice from the recipe (and Ruth) and made this ahead of time.  I hope I get home tonight to pop it in the oven and post a photo.  (I did sneak a taste of the sauce and it’s delicious with the cheese combination and the prosciutto.)

OK—YES.  I got it baked.  Delicious.

This pasta  bake is most worthy!!!!

 

Since the theme this week is casseroles and sheet pan recipes, I wanted to share two recipes that I previously posted:

Two Sheet Pan Roasted Trifecta of Vegetables

Green Chile Mac ‘n Cheese with Andouille Sausage

Apparently, I don’t have a lot of sheet pan meals or casseroles in the EE archives.

I will say I made a delicious sheet pan recipe this past week but didn’t take photographic proof.  It was the last of the Blue Apron meals and was simply a BBQ spice rubbed pork loin with carrots, shallots, fennel, and potatoes.  The veggies were just seasoned with salt and pepper.  I made a quick condiment for the porl by just combining spicy brown mustard with maple syrup.  Here’s the recipe if you like.

I barely got this posted and linked up.  Join I Heart Cooking Clubs next week when the theme is The Big Apple!  (NYC or Bust! Make any Ruth Reichl recipe with a New York vibe or any of her recipes modeled after New York restaurants).  I’m kind of struggling with finding something for this week.

Have a great one!

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
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The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
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