Jerry and his colleagues recently attended a cooking class where among other dishes they turned out a lovely baked pasta. It was exactly what the doctor ordered now that the air has a chilly bite to it: toothsome pasta, studded with radicchio and mushrooms and coated with a decadent cheese sauce. Here’s our attempt to recreate it at home.
1 lb. dried penne
8 tbl. unsalted butter
7 oz. shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
2 heads radicchio, halved, cored and finely shredded
2.5 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. parmesan, grated (plus a bit more to top the dish)
1/2 c. fontina, shredded
1/2 c. Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 heaping spoonful ricotta
6 sage leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and hit it with a rounded palmful of coarse salt. Add the pasta. Cook the penne for just 5 minutes or so and drain.
Slice the mushrooms into 1/4 inch bits. In a nonstick pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Hit the pan with the mushrooms and a good three-finger pinch of coarse salt. Saute, stirring from time to time, until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, mushrooms, radicchio, heavy cream, cheeses, and sage. Gently toss. Pour the pasta mixture into a shallow gratin dish and top with a bit more parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbling and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
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