Mushroom Cheesy Pasta Casserole
- 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (1/2 ounce)
- 1 pound mixed short pasta shapes such as fusilli, farfalle, penne, and orzo
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom, stems discarded and caps quartered
- 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps quartered
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 1/2 ounces fontina cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- In a heatproof glass measuring cup, cover dried porcini mushrooms with 1 cup of boiling water. Let stand until the mushrooms are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve 3/4 cup of the porcini soaking liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the mixed pasta until just shy of al dente, about 10 minutes; drain.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in the reserved porcini liquid and the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and chopped porcini mushrooms. Scrape into a large bowl.
- In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the porcini sauce. Stir in the pasta and fontina cheese and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the pasta into an 8 1/2-by-12-inch baking dish.
- Sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and bake for about 35 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.