Apr 22, 2014

Mushroom Stuffed Shells

This recipe continues my journey through multi-step dishes.  Though there are multiple steps, I had the pasta in the oven in 45 minutes, I swear. Maybe not a weeknight meal but definitely something to savor in the weekend!




The dish has three components -

1. Shell Pasta

2. Filling

3. Béchamel sauce


Ingredients -

For Pasta -

Jumbo shells - 10
Salt
A few herbs


For filling -

Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Onion - 1 medium sized
Mushrooms - sliced - 1 cup

For white sauce -

Butter - 3 tablespoons
Flour - 3 tablespoons
Milk - 1.5 cups
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg
Herbs
A squeeze of tomato paste if you are adventurous like me!

Misc -
Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup shredded
A little panko crumbs to give the dish some crunch.



Method -

1. Preheat the oven to 350F

2. Cook the pasta in boiling water with some salt and little herbs thrown in. (I will introduce flavor anyway I can) Drain and set aside when done.

3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions first and then the mushrooms till both are browned. Add herbs, salt, pepper.



4. Now the sauce - the one thing I'm scared of but it came out perfect and lump free. Of course I think it's because I followed Gordon Ramsay's method.





Step 1 - Melt butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. I just used my pressure pan.

Step 2 - Add in flour and mix in with the butter till it forms a pasty mixture. Allow to cook for about 5-6 minutes.

Step 3 - Add milk in half cup increments and whisk well till it forms a lump free smooth sauce.

Bam, you are done. Now I added salt, pepper, herbs, nutmeg and tomato paste to give it a tang.  You can add cheese or something else if you fancy.




5. Ladle the sauce on the bottom of a a baking dish. Fill the shells with the mushroom onion mixture and line them up on the sauce. Ladle more sauce on top of the shells and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.



6. Add the mozzarella cheese and bake for another 10 minutes.



Voilà. Done with the most delicious and amazing pasta dish ever! You can add in broccoli or spinach as filling or some other type of cheese on top. Endless variety. Don't be scared by the steps, this one is worth the two extra pans!



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