Makes about 6 servings
- 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt, plus more as needed
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 5 Tbsp salted butter
- 2 cups coarse, fresh bread crumbs (preferable homemade)
- 4 ounces Sartori Espresso BellaVitano Cheese, finely grated (about 2 cups)
- 1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces parsnips (about 4 small), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (discard any woody spots)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups whole or reduced-fat milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, coarsely grated (or smoked scamorza)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter an 8-inch square (1 1/2 quart) baking dish (or six 8-ounce ramekins). Set aside.
- Fill a 4-to-5-quart pot about three-quarters full with water and add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, stirring once or twice, until tender but firm, about 8 minutes, and drain. Reserve the pot.
- In a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the bread crumbs and 1 cup of Espresso BellaVitano. Mix well. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe out but do not wash the skillet.
- In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until soft and creamy in texture, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly and add salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Using the same pot you used to cook the pasta, combine the parsnips, garlic, 1/2 cup of the milk, 1/2 cup of the cream, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally and watching to make sure the cream mixture does not boil. Simmer the parsnips until they are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. cool slightly. Place in a blender or food processor and puree. Put the puree back into the pot, and add the remaining 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until slightly thickened and warmed through, about 5 minutes. Add the smoked mozzarella and the remaining BellaVitano, and stir until the sauce is smooth but not too runny. It should be similar in texture to cake batter. If it's soupy, continue cooking until it thickens.
- Add the pasta and mushrooms and stir just until mixed. Pour into the prepared baking dish and top with the bread crumb mixture. Place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is brown and bubbly. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve.
Original recipe and image source: Laura Werlin for Sartori