Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pasta "al forno" Casserole with Mushrooms, Peppers & Vegetables

I make this recipe all winter. Hearty, comforting, delicious. Perfect for cold nights. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off. The dish comes together quickly and can be made in the morning, refrigerated until ready to use, and then baked hot and cheesy when ready to serve. You can vary the vegetables to use what you have..what you like. Sauteed greens? Broccoli or Cauliflower? Maybe roasted chicken or Italian sausage to make it non-vegetarian? Play with the recipe and please share your "custom" version. Happy New Year! 

Pasta "al forno" Casserole with Mushrooms, Peppers & Vegetables
(adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine)
1/2 oz package mixed dried wild mushrooms  
3/4 c boiling hot water
3 1/2 oz panko bread crumbs (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1/2 c grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 c minced flat leaf parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c diced Roma tomatoes
1/4 c carrot, finely minced
1 lb portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 c dry white wine
1/2 lb rotelli pasta
1/2 c parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Butter a 3 quart baking dish and set aside.

Add  dried wild mushrooms to boiling water and allow to soak for 15 minutes.

Place panko in a rimmed baking sheet and spread out to ensure crumbs are in a thin even layer. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. (stir 2-3 times while cooking). Remove from oven and allow to cool, then add 1/2 c grated cheese, parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and two garlic cloves, minced. Set aside.

Drain mushrooms and reserve soaking liquid. Dry mushrooms with a paper towel and chop.

Place butter and remaining olive oil in large skillet and heat until butter melts. Add onion, peppers and garlic and cook over med heat until softened and golden brown, do not let garlic burn. Add tomatoes, carrot and portobello mushrooms and cook until vegetables are softened and released mushroom juice is evaporated, approximately 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, remaining salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and white wine. Stir well and cook until wine is reduced by about half. Add wild mushrooms and the reserved soaking liquid. Cook until liquid has reduced by half. 

While mushroom mixture is simmering, cook pasta is a large pot of boiling, well salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and add to wild mushroom mixture, stir well. Add remaining cheese and stir again. Put pasta/mushroom mixture in buttered baking dish. Sprinkle panko/cheese topping evenly over pasta and bake, uncovered for 20 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow juices to absorb into pasta and then serve.

Winter means comfort food at Food Network and this week we are celebrating Casseroles. Do you have a favorite casserole recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. And be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends and Food Network. 

The Cultural Dish: Mediterranean Fish Casserole
The Heritage Cook: 
Arroz Con Pollo Casserole (Gluten-Free)
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Baked Artichoke Radicchio Risotto with Lemon-Caper Breadcrumbs
Taste with the Eyes: 
Mini Shrimp and Grits Casseroles
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Lasagne al Forno with Chard & Mushrooms
Red or Green: 
Pasta "al forno" Casserole with Mushrooms, Peppers & Vegetables
Swing Eats: 
Pastitsio: A Delicious Greek Pasta Casserole (gluten-free)
Virtually Homemade: 
Tamale Pie
Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
Haute Apple Pie: 
Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Domesticate Me: 
Baked Orzo with Turkey Sausage, Broccolini and Fontina
FN Dish: 
5 Hearty Casseroles Ready to Warm You Up



  1. Wonderful casserole to warm up with by the fire!

  2. Thanks Susan!
    Hope you enjoy the casserole.

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