Needed something easy to make tonight that would produce enough food to last us a few days. There’s a smoked cheese and mushroom pizza out of Moosewood Cooks at Home which we like a lot, but the problem is that it’s pretty easy for Mrs. Q, CJ, and me to eat the whole recipe in a night. I wanted leftovers. So instead I used the top of the pizza as a sauce for two pounds of pasta. Does that make sense? If not, here’s my version of the recipe.
Saute two pounds of mushrooms until they start to release liquid. Stir in some sage or dill, a heaping tablespoon of dijon mustard, some salt and pepper, and about three chopped-up scallions. (Mrs. Q felt this dish could have used more mustard and I wanted more scallions, so adjust as needed.) Mix everything up and stick it in a big bowl. Now, in the same pan, make some bechamel sauce, which will get nice and tan from mushroom drippings. Throw a half pound of smoked cheese of whatever kind you like into the bechamel to melt. (I used Farmer John’s awesome smoked provolone.) Oh yeah, in the meantime you were making two pounds of pasta. I used whole wheat rotini for this. Put the pasta in the bowl with the cooked mushrooms (you used a big bowl, right?), pour the bechamel on top of it, then if you like things cheesier, put in some mild white cheese like a ricotta. Mix everything up, put it in a casserole, bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I’m sure you could put buttered bread crumbs or crumbled cool ranch Fritos or whatever on the top, but at this stage of my life my cooking is no longer notable for ornament.
Not fancy, but easy, and will remind you of the casseroles of your childhood if you’re about the same age as I am.
(As I write this, the Red Sox have just finished sweeping the World Series.)