Baked pasta with mushrooms and pancetta

    (1)
    1 hour 10 min

    There's no tomato sauce in this baked pasta dish, just white bechamel sauce, sauteed mushrooms and pancetta.


    1 person made this

    Ingredients
    Serves: 6 

    • For the bechamel sauce
    • 50g butter
    • 50g plain flour
    • 600ml milk
    • salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste
    • For the mushrooms
    • 250g mushrooms of your choice, sliced (shiitake, porcini, button, cremini)
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 100ml white wine
    • 1 small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped, stems and leaves divided
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • For the pasta
    • 100g pancetta or bacon, cut in pieces
    • 500g maccheroni, penne or other short pasta
    • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided

    Method
    Prep:40min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. To make the bechamel sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Mix with a whisk and keep cooking until the flour absorbs the butter and makes a smooth white paste. Pour in the milk, a bit at a time; keep whisking until the mixture thickens up into a smooth sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set the sauce aside.
    2. In a pan over medium-low heat, cook the garlic with the parsley stems. When the oil starts sizzling, add the mushrooms and coat in oil. Increase heat, pour in the wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Lower to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and parsley leaves. Discard garlic.
    3. Fry the pancetta or bacon in a non stick pan on high heat until well cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
    4. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    5. Cook the pasta for half the time suggested on the package. Drain and transfer into a bowl. Add bechamel, mushrooms and bacon. Toss well and then add 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Transfer into a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese.
    6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
    7. Turn on the oven grill and transfer the pasta bake to the top shelf to brown, about 5 minutes.

    Reheating:

    This baked pasta is even tastier after a few hours of resting. Prepare up to a day in advance, store in the fridge and reheat for 10 minutes in a preheated oven before serving.

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