I was introduced to this delicious food in college, and I couldn't believe I'd never liked it before-- after all, I'm not one to turn down pasta in any form. My mom used to make it occasionally, and I really don't remember liking it. But, dressed up with mushrooms and Marsala it becomes divine. I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry and I can whip it up on a day I don't want to venture outside. One of my favorite comfort foods, it's a dressed up mac and cheese! —Meatballs&Milkshakes
Test Kitchen Notes
This is a clever take on mac n cheese. I loved the earthiness of the crimini mushrooms paired with the rosemary and tuna. The casserole is truly a sum of its ingredients; I could pleasantly taste all the components. It was creamy without being soupy. The recipe is spot on; all ingredients well balanced. The final mix fit nicely into an 8” by 8” gratin dish. It emerged bubbly, browned with the pasta cooked perfectly after 25 minutes. I used coarse homemade breadcrumbs which gave the topping a nice crunch. Panko would work too. I wouldn’t change a thing and will most certainly add this to my baked pasta repertoire. —Gmarkb
box small pasta such as egg noodles, mini shells, mini penne (8 oz.)
sliced crimini mushrooms
Marsala wine (can sub white wine, but not as good)
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to box instructions but stop about 5 minutes early and drain.
Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they have softened. Add the rosemary and toss through. Add the wine and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Combine the flour and butter in a separate pan and cook until the paste starts to brown. Add the milk and whisk so that there are no lumps. Add the chicken stock and whisk again. Add the mushroom mixture, the tuna, nutmeg, and about 3/4 of the cheeses. Reserve the rest of the cheese and combine with the breadcrumbs in another bowl.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir through. Pour into a baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs mixture. If you have some truffle butter, you can dot the top with little bits of it. You may want to reserve it and add before serving as well. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until it starts to get bubbly and browned on top.
I'm an ex-finance, nonprofit fundraiser by day and a (mostly) Italian cook and blogger by night. I love having friends over for dinner and my favorite evenings are when we spend them at home together cooking dinner and chatting. I'm an avid cooking show fan, and my favorite eating cities are New York, San Francisco, Paris, and Rome.