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Porcini Mac & Cheese

This recipe was inspired by a mushroom mac and cheese I had at a local restaurant. I incorporated the fall flavor of a pumpkin ale, and it turned out better than the original. —Laura Davis, Chincoteague, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + standing Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 package (16 ounces) small pasta shells
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin or amber ale
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine dried porcini mushrooms and boiling water; let stand 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are softened. Remove with a slotted spoon; rinse and finely chop. Discard liquid. Set aside mushrooms. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add portobello mushrooms and shallot; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; gradually stir in milk and beer. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cheeses, salt and reserved porcini mushrooms.
  • Drain pasta; add to mushroom mixture and toss to combine. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Editor's Note
To make soft bread crumbs, tear bread into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse until crumbs form. One slice of bread yields 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbs.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 723 calories, 33g fat (19g saturated fat), 97mg cholesterol, 968mg sodium, 74g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 30g protein.

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