Porcini mushroom and smoked mozzarella pasta bake

    1 hour 10 min

    This vegetarian porcini mushroom and tomato pasta bake is flavoured with smoked mozzarella. If you can't get your hands on fresh porcini mushrooms, you can use frozen mixed mushrooms which are available in most supermarkets. Baked pasta will always taste better when it is prepared ahead of time to let the flavours blend. For traditional Sunday family lunch, Italian mums prepare this dish in the morning or even the day before, then reheat slowly when ready to serve.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
    • 800g tomato passata
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 400g fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced
    • 100ml white wine
    • 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
    • salt, to taste
    • 500g penne or bow tie pasta
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 300g scamorza (smoked mozzarella cheese), cubed

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat; add onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomato passata and a pinch of salt; simmer the sauce, covered loosely with a lid, for about 20 minutes.
    2. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in another pan over low heat; add garlic clove and porcini mushrooms and toss to coat in oil; season with salt and cook on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine; simmer mushrooms for 10 minutes or until soft. Stir in finely chopped parsley.
    3. Add the tomato sauce to the mushrooms; simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, discard garlic clove and set aside.
    4. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    5. Cook the pasta in a pot of abundant salted water. Remove from heat and drain when the pasta still has a bite (it will finish cooking in sauce). Mix pasta into mushroom-tomato sauce. Add beaten egg and half of the grated Parmesan.
    6. Spoon half of the pasta into a baking dish and spread evenly. Add cubes of scarmoza cheese and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan. Cover with the remaining pasta and sprinkle remaining Parmesan on top.
    7. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to the top rack and grill for 10 minutes or until top is golden.
    8. Remove from heat, cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

    Parmesan cheese:

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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