Baked Leek & Mushroom Pasta with Smoked Cheddar Bechamel

There are a few steps to this baked pasta, but everything can be done ahead and baked off to serve, making for a decadent dinner party dish. I like to serve this when cool weather descends and when we are all longing for comfort food. I call for leeks for their sweetness, and how well they compliment the earthy mushrooms and smoked cheese. Look for a smoked cheddar, steering clear of smoked goudas which will be too sweet for this dish. If you cannot find smoked cheddar, substitute with a mild white cheddar.

Baked Leek & Mushroom Pasta with Smoked Cheddar Bechamel

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
There are a few steps to this baked pasta, but everything can be done ahead and baked off to serve, making for a decadent dinner party dish. I like to serve this when cool weather descends and when we are all longing for comfort food. I call for leeks for their sweetness, and how well they compliment the earthy mushrooms and smoked cheese. Look for a smoked cheddar, steering clear of smoked goudas which will be too sweet for this dish. If you cannot find smoked cheddar, substitute with a mild white cheddar.
No ratings yet
Course Main Course
Servings 8

Ingredients
 

  • 10 ounces mixed mushrooms, such as portobello, cremini, maitake, or oyster, roughly chopped
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided use
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound short pasta, such as rigatoni or cavatappi

For the topping

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, not seasoned
  • ¼ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Warm the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the leeks and saute for a few minutes over medium heat until softened. Stir in the mushrooms and a half teaspoon salt and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the mushrooms are cooking, pour a cup of boiling hot water over the porcini mushrooms and let them rehydrate for 10-15 minutes. Pull the porcini from the liquid (don't toss the liquid), coarsely chop them , and then add to the skillet with the sauteed mushrooms. Keep over low heat.
  • Measure the milk in a 4-cup pyrex measuring cup, or into a bowl if you do not have one, and pour in 1/2 cup of the liquid that the porcini mushrooms soaked in.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and add the garlic. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Switch to a whisk and slowly pour in the milk mixture. Whisk over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Simmer, without stirring, over low heat for 2 minutes, then take off the heat and stir in the cheese, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions in plenty of salted water, until al dente (since the pasta will cook more in the oven, boil it shy of 2 minutes according to when it will be finished). Drain and dump back into the pasta pot, off the heat.
  • Pour the bechamel into the pot with the pasta and stir to coat. Add the mushrooms and combine. Pour into a buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish. You can refrigerate it at this point up to 8 hours before baking.
  • In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmigiano, parsley and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add enough oil so that the mixture is well moistened. Scatter over the pasta evenly. Place dish in a preheated 325 degree oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until top is toasted. Serve warm.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Perfect For Your Place

Popular on Zest K+H

Sorry, we couldn't find any posts. Please try a different search.

Recipes We're Loving