Every time I make Baked Tortellini with Spinach, I am left with 6 ounces of fontina cheese. While I would happily make it 3 more times, I have also had this Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta dish on my list of things to make for some time now. The first time I made this dish without mushrooms, and it was good, but I felt it needed something more. It needed mushrooms. Mushrooms are not typically my go-to for anything, but it really cried out for something earthy and meaty. Sauteed in a little garlic, the mushrooms were the perfect addition to this dish. I used some Parmesan cheese for some of the fontina in the original recipe to give the recipe a little more bite. Topped with buttery, garlic breadcrumbs, Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta is a delicious and sophisticated twist on macaroni and cheese ~ perfect for company or Sunday dinner comfort food.
Looking to use up the leftover mascarpone cheese? Try Porcini Mushroom and Spinach Risotto with Mascarpone
- 1 pound medium pasta shells, uncooked (penne or other similar shaped pasta works too)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups skim milk
- 1¾ cups (6 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I use baby bellas)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Cooking spray
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter (I use light butter)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour and milk in a large sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, and cook for about 10 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.
- Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute mushrooms, with a pinch of salt, until softened (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add 1 clove of minced garlic in the last minute, if desired.
- Remove milk mixture from heat and add cheeses, whisking until mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add cooked pasta and mushrooms, stirring to coat and combine.
- Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and pour pasta mixture into pan.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove from heat and add breadcrumbs, stirring to coat. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over pasta mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Adapted from Cooking Light, November, 2006