Umami, or savoriness, is described as the fifth taste. Both mushrooms and Parmesan cheese contain natural umami. This explains the deliciousness of this dish.—Julia Falsetti, York, Pennsylvania
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VERIFIED BY Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1/2 cup (about 1/2 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 whole sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine or chicken broth
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 pound sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked penne pasta
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- Place porcini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water; let stand 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup liquid. Squeeze mushrooms and tomatoes dry; coarsely chop and set aside.
- In a large skillet, saute onions in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add reserved mushroom liquid, wine, thyme, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes or until thickened. Stir in porcini mushroom mixture.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Toss pasta with the cooking liquid, mushroom mixture and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Place half of pasta mixture in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Cover and bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Baked Penne with Mushrooms in Country Woman April/May 2011, p40