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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, Pocomoke City, Maryland
  • 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 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. 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 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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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Cheryl
    Feb 20, 2018

    Not a rating from me yet but a question. Is there any reason you can't use the water from reconstituting the porcinis to cook the pasta? It seems that would bump up the mushroom flavor.

  • lorstout
    Oct 8, 2017

    A nice twist on the usual mac & cheese. The mushrooms add great flavor and texture. We also like the flavor from the two cheeses and amber ale. This recipe is delicious as written, but it can easily be changed to suit any taste by using a different cheese or adding meat instead of mushrooms.

  • bonito15
    Oct 2, 2017

    Delicious and impressive would describe this recipe - used the baby bella mushrooms chopped up but I did half the recipe so we could have just 2 meals out of it - the sauce was awesome and it is very impressive. Highly recommend this and with cutting the recipe in half it was perfect for 2 of us to have 2 meals and it was as good the second day as the first.

  • Appy_Girl
    Sep 29, 2017

    One word to describe this sinfully rich dish. Decadent. I scaled this recipe way down to just 2. All of the ingredients were based on just 2 and 1/2 cups of pasta shells. The recipe for the sauce was cut in 1/2. I cut the amount of the Bella mushrooms by 1/2 and the dried Porcinis by just 1/3 cup dried and when reconstituted that gave me about a good 1/4 cup diced. Which was plenty for our tastes. One can always add more. The porcinis are a fabulous choice and do they ever contribute to this recipe. Also the Fontina cheese is another big winner. I might suggest doubling the sauce recipe if making the full recipe as written. Ours was just right for the way we enjoy mac and cheese. This is an impressive recipe that will dazzle everyone's Taste Buds.A strong recommendation for this one ! JanieTaste of Home Volunteer Field Editor

  • NanaNeicy
    Sep 23, 2017

    Deliciously cheesy mac dish - although I shall call mine Shiitake Mac & Cheese since Porcini were unavailable! I also substituted five cheese Italian blend since Fontina alone was not to be found at my Walmart. I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest for the amber ale, and added an additional cup of shredded Italian blend to the bread crumbs because my husband REALLY likes cheese. I used the longer bake time, and was rewarded with a golden brown crunch on top. My husband said it was delicious, but a little dry for his taste - please consider, however, that he likes his mac and cheese very soupy (I don't). The mushroom-cheese sauce was silky, and coated the pasta well. Next time, to accommodate his preference, I will simply use less pasta. The next time I make this dish, I will consider adding some black pepper or maybe dry mustard to the sauce. This makes a huge 13x9, so keep that in mind if you are cooking for two. I have lunch all weekend, so the size of the dish was not an issue. I recommend giving this dish a try! It is definitely one to keep in the recipe box!