I really do love this mac & cheese recipe. It is ridiculously simple and delicious. I mean, pasta and cheese are like BFFs. #FriendshipNeverDies But let's be honest, a mac & cheese recipe can be unnecessarily complicated and tedious. Here, you don't need to make roux or the béchamel... if you can boil pasta and stretch your capabilities by roasting mushrooms, you are on the way to victory.
- 1 pound mixed wild or cultivated mushrooms, such as oyster, maitake and shiitake
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus a few grinds
- 4 fresh rosemary branches
- 1 pound orecchiette, farfalle or other short pasta
- 2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1.5 cup Parmesan, grated
- 2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage or basil
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/2 to 1 cup parmesan. grated
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the mushrooms and cut into 1-inch pieces. Toss with the olive oil, the salt, a few grinds of pepper and the rosemary. Spread on a large baking sheet and roast, tossing once or twice, until golden brown and crisped around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Discard rosemary.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for at least a few minutes less than the package directs. (You want the pasta very al dente; it will finish softening in the sauce.) Drain well.
- Turn oven up to 500 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the cream, ricotta, fontina, Parmesan, sage, pepper, garlic and a pinch of salt. Stir in the pasta and mushrooms. Arrange in a shallow 2-quart gratin dish or 9- by 13-inch pan.
- Add panko topping.
- Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly and browned in spots, 10 to 15 minutes.