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Old 10-01-2005, 01:32 PM   #1
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Baked Penne With Mushrooms And Cheeses

I was so happy to have come across this recipe, as it sounds exactly like a dish I often ordered at a favorite Italian restaurant. I had the dish with the house salad, white wine, crusty Italian bread and butter. It was almost too filling to have a slice of cheescake & coffee. The menu gives you a choice of any pasta (ziti, linguine, etc.) and any sauce (white, mushroom, tomato etc.) you wish. Real comfort food. I would like to give it a try, but have a question re the *cheese.

BAKED PENNE WITH MUSHROOMS AND CHEESES
Pasticcio di penne alla valdostana Valle d'Aosta
Serves 4 - 5

1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled, whole
4 T butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 oz penne (about 2 1/2 cups dry pasta) - or mostaccioi, ziti, etc.
*3 oz Bel Paese cheese, thinly sliced or cubed - or any creamy, mild cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half

Sauté the mushrooms with the whole garlic clove in 2 tablespoons of the butter over a high heat. Add salt and pepper, lower the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Discard the garlic.

Cook the pasta as usual. Drain and dress with the remaining butter.

Butter an ovenproof dish and cover the bottom with a layer of penne. Distribute about a quarter of the mushrooms and the sliced cheese evenly over the pasta and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan.

Add another layer of pasta and cover with mushrooms and cheese as before. Repeat until you have used all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of sliced cheeses.

Pour over the cream, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake, covered with foil, in a preheated oven at 400° for 10 minutes. Bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes, or until a light crust has formed on the top. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Adapted from: Gastronomy of Italy
Anna Del Conte

*I am not familiar with the taste of this cheese. If any one is familiar with this cheese, any thoughts on what I could use instead? (Cream cheese or Mozzarella, maybe?) Think I also detected a hint of olive oil in the dish. The taste is very subtle, so I don't want to overpower any of the ingredients.

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Old 10-01-2005, 01:56 PM   #2
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Copied and pasted...this family loves pasta, and this dish sounds yummy!
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Old 10-01-2005, 02:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
Copied and pasted...this family loves pasta, and this dish sounds yummy!
Constance, if I can get the cheese right, it's heaven. Whatever ya do, don't add extra garlic, or kill it with too much cheese, etc. - it is excellent without any embellishments. I might try half butter and half olive oil.
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Old 10-01-2005, 02:55 PM   #4
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That looks great! I wonder about the cheese too...
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Old 10-01-2005, 03:05 PM   #5
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Mish, your recipe sound great. I looked up the cheese on the internet and here is what I found.

Bel Paese is from the Lombardy region of Italy. It is a modern, creamery, semi soft cheese and has a light, milky aroma. It is matured for 6-8 weeks. The genuine Italian article can be identified by its wrapping which features an image of a priest and the map of Italy (U.S. licensed versions show a map of the Americas). The name means "beautiful land" and was inspired by the title of a book by Stoppani. Bel Paese is very similar to French St. Paulin. It can also be used instead of mozzarella.

http://www.cheese.com/Description.asp?Name=Bel%20Paese
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Old 10-01-2005, 03:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SierraCook
Mish, your recipe sound great. I looked up the cheese on the internet and here is what I found.

Bel Paese is from the Lombardy region of Italy. It is a modern, creamery, semi soft cheese and has a light, milky aroma. It is matured for 6-8 weeks. The genuine Italian article can be identified by its wrapping which features an image of a priest and the map of Italy (U.S. licensed versions show a map of the Americas). The name means "beautiful land" and was inspired by the title of a book by Stoppani. Bel Paese is very similar to French St. Paulin. It can also be used instead of mozzarella.

http://www.cheese.com/Description.asp?Name=Bel%20Paese
Thank you Sierra. I took a peek too. Love reading about how foods get their name & the origin/history. Hard to resist a food named "beautiful land." Mozzarella sounds like a good way to go to me as well. Would like to see if I can find it at an Italian market, just for the experience of trying a new cheese. If you try it, hope you will enjoy the dish. Always appreciate your input.
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Old 10-01-2005, 04:51 PM   #7
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Mish,

the kids were asking for a pasta with a white sauce and I'd considered an alfredo, but, your recipe looks so good...I've eaten Bel Passe cold and I'll try it tomorrow in the pasta and see..I'd be willing to bet right now it will be yummy...Thanks so much this will really make Cade smile as he has developed a great fondness for pasta with white sauce
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Old 10-01-2005, 07:21 PM   #8
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Here's a look at their menu.

http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com/page/page/1980205.htm
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Old 10-01-2005, 07:49 PM   #9
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What a great menu!!!! My mouth is watering, badly!!! I am going to try the recipe you posted using mozzarella soon.
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Old 10-01-2005, 07:54 PM   #10
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This looks great, I will investigate the cheese and if I can't get it here I'll use mozarella (Erin strikes again)
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