Big Pasta with Mushroom, Parsley, Garlic and Thyme

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 30 min
 
YIELD: 16 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

BECHAMEL:
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
    MUSHROOM MIXTURE:
    • 2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 stick
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • 3 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups boiling water
    • 1 pound, 8 ounces mixed mushrooms, chopped
    • 3/4 cups fresh parsley leaves, chopped, plus 3/4 cup, plus 1/4 cup more for garnish
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or fresh thyme leaves
    • Special equipment: Large roasting pan, approximately 12 3/4 by 16 1/2 inches.
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      Directions

      Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

      In a saucepan, melt the butter for the bechamel, and add the flour, stirring gently to make a smooth paste. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the milk. Turn the heat back on to medium, and stir the bechamel until it begins to thicken and come to the boil. Let it bubble for about 5 minutes to get rid of the floury taste. Take off the heat and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

      Melt 2 tablespoons butter and the oil in a large wide pan. Drain the porcini, reserving the liquid, and chop before adding to the pan with 3/4 cup chopped parsley, the dried or fresh thyme, and garlic. Stir for a couple of minutes then melt the remaining 1 stick of butter in the same pan and add the chopped mushrooms, stirring for about 5 minutes. The mushrooms will appear dry at first but will eventually start to give off some liquid.
      Add the porcini soaking liquid, which the mushrooms will largely absorb, but keep stirring and add the sherry and let it bubble away. Turn off the heat when you have a bronzed, syrupy stew.

      Stir the mushroom mixture into the bechamel and add 1 cup of the Parmesan and the other 3/4 cup of the chopped parsley. Put a big pan of water on for the pasta, and when it boils, salt it well. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and add to the mushroomy white sauce, stirring it as best you can to get the pasta covered.

      Turn into the large roasting pan and sprinkle over the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top begins to turn golden in places.

      When the tin comes out of the oven, decorate with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped parsley and some sprigs of fresh thyme.

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      5

      Newest Ratings and Reviews

      Read all 3 reviews

      • on September 28, 2011

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        Hunny and I bought the Pasta just to prepare this Lovely Mushroomy Sauced Pasta Dish.The Sauce is to Live For!Love the lemony flavour of Thyme and the Marriage of Garlic to All Works Brilliantly.The Pasta was from Italy and We had a Lovely White Wine and a Delicious Light Lemon Dessert from Nigella's Lovely Repetrois.Simply a Divine Meal.If You Adore All Types of Mushrooms will Be a Fabulous Dinner a Deux or Share.We Chose to divide Recipe and have Together for a Couple's Night.

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      • on September 05, 2011

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        This is one of my go recipes. Easy, feeds a crowd as a side or use as main dish with salad. Don't be concerned about making extra. Add cut up chicken, ham, Italian sausage to left overs for a new dish.

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      • on June 14, 2011

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        This is delicious! Don't be bashful about the seasonings. The recipe could be cut in half, and would still equal the size of a large lasagna. As it is, the prep time is probably double that given. Just getting all those mushrooms chopped is a fair amount of work. Where's my sous chef?

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