A full cup of Italian Asiago cheese gives body and flavor to the velvety sauce, which is laced with sherry.
8 ounces uncooked gigli or radiatore pasta
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup sliced shallots
8 ounces sliced shiitake mushroom caps
4 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, divided
Thyme sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Set cooked pasta aside.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1 tablespoon thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Place flour in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add 1/2 cup cheese, stirring until melted. Add pasta and mushroom mixture to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
This one is definitely a keeper! It's so rich and creamy, I have a hard time believing it's "light." I guess the absence of meat helps, but I don't even miss it. I didn't have any sherry or shallots, so I used chicken broth and yellow onion instead. Delicious!
So delicious. Not always a huge fan of mushrooms or thyme, but they work beautifully together in this. The shallots really add flavor and interest. I found I only needed to bake it for 20 minutes to get the cheese brown, carmelized and perfect.
A crowd pleaser. Easily adjusted to personal preferences. For example, I added 2 cups of spinach (just wilted it in the milk/cheese mixture before combining), and since my husband doesn't like asiago cheese I substituted half manchego half mozzarella--still had a nice bite. I also used 1/2 regular and 1/2 vegetable-blend rotini for a mix of colors. Very filling and freezes nicely.
This was great. My partner and I loved it and it lasted the whole week - which is what I wanted. I doubled the ingredients for more servings and the Asiago Cheese was wonderful tasting. I never heard of this cheese, I am ashamed to say, but it made love to my taste buds and I will be using it again. Splendido.
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