This creamy mushroom pasta bake is heaven in a casserole dish. For this creamy mushroom pasta, we make a simple creamy mushroom sauce for a decadent dinner.
The base of this recipe is the mushroom sauce, which is quite easy to prepare and only requires a handful of ingredients.
The way I like to prepare the sauce is using a mix of minced mushrooms and sliced mushrooms. It creates a nice textural contrast and the minced mushrooms help thicken the sauce.
The recipe is simple:
- Sauté an onion until almost caramelized
- Add minced mushrooms
- Loosen up with a bit of alcohol or stock (white wine, vermouth, or even sherry, but vegetable stock works too)
- Allow the liquid to evaporate
- Add butter and sauté sliced mushrooms until very golden brown
- Add the onion and minced mushrooms along with 3 tablespoons of flour to create a roux
- Thin out with whole milk and stock to create a rich, creamy sauce
After the sauce is done, I toss it with undercooked rigatoni and top the casserole with grated parmesan cheese and bake for about 20 minutes. The final product is a rich, heavenly creamy mushroom pasta bake that is really irresistible!
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Creamy Mushroom Pasta Bake
- Wide pot
- Large pot
- Baking dish (You can also bake in the wide pot if it is oven-safe)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 12 ounces baby bella mushrooms trimmed, scrubbed, and minced
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- ¼ cup white wine or vermouth
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms trimmed, scrubbed, and sliced
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 3-4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup vegetable stock plus more, if needed
- 3 cups whole milk gently warmed on stove or in microwave
- 16 ounces dry rigatoni
- Scant amount of nutmeg optional
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dry or fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Brown the Onion:
- In a wide pot, heat the 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat until very hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until well-browned and beginning to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Cook the Pasta:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the rigatoni about 3-4 minutes under al dente. Drain and set aside.
Cook the Mushrooms:
- Add the minced mushrooms and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the wine or vermouth and scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. Allow the liquid to cook off for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Cook the Sliced Mushrooms:
- Heat the butter in the pot and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until very golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and dry thyme.
- Return the minced mushrooms and onion to the pot and stir to combine.
Prepare the Roux:
- Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir to combine. Cook until aromatic, about 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the flour.
- Pour in the stock, whisking as you incorporate. Continue whisking until thick. Add the warm milk, one ladle at a time, whisking after each incorporation until all the milk has been added. Bring to a very low, bubbly boil and then reduce heat and simmer. Stir regularly. The sauce should be velvety and a little thick. It will thicken up more as it bakes. Taste and season to your preferences. Turn off the heat.
Prepare the Casserole:
- Spoon a few ladles of the sauce on the bottom of the casserole and add 1/3 of the pasta. Pour a few more ladles of sauce on top of the pasta. If desired, add a scant amount of ground nutmeg on top (no more than 1/8 teaspoon). Continue on with pasta, sauce, scant nutmeg (optional) two more times until all the pasta and sauce have been used.
- Sprinkle the casserole with the parmesan cheese and transfer to the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese has melted and is turning golden brown in places. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh or dry minced parsley.
- Divide the pasta between shallow bowls and garnish with more parsley, if desired. Enjoy!