Eating in Sin: Baked Pasta with Sausage and Three Cheeses
We gathered some of our friends this weekend for a pumpkin carving party. You'd think we are a bunch of grade-schoolers rather than 30-something professionals...
I covered the dining room table with a layer of garbage bags and then a layer of brown kraft paper, set out a variety of sharp knives and instruments, and then began to question my judgement. Would I be serving alcohol while actively encouraging others to fiddle with knives?
Well, I decided that our full supply of gauze and bandaids as well as proximity to the nearest emergency room offering stitch-ups justified the risk.
But just to be sure, I baked up the heartiest, richest and most sinful recipe I could think of -- to be sure that any alcohol would enter the blood stream very slowly indeed. And our friends -- their mouths full, their inner child thrilled at the sight of our lit jack-o-lanterns, and their digits still intact (for the most part) -- happily gobbled up an entire casserole dish of this baked pasta. I warn you: this is not for every day eatin', people! We're talking cholesterol casserole. I did actually consider trying to lighten this up. But hey -- you only carve goofy pumpkins among other grown adults once a year, right????
Baked Pasta with Sausage and Three Cheeses
1 pound fettucini or pasta of your choice
1 pound sausage (Pork or Turkey, hot or sweet, or mixed)
2 T olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound shitake mushrooms
2 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained, chopped, then drained again
1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina Cheese
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola
1 1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil
1/4 c fresh parsley
4 T butter, divided (3/1)
3 T flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Cook pasta until al dente.
Cook the sausage in a large skillet, breaking up as you go, until browned. Place sausage in a large bowl and drain skillet.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms, and cook until tender. Place in the bowl with the sausage. Add tomatoes and combine well.
Add Fontina, gorgonzola, 1 c of the parmesan and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
In a saucepan, melt 3 T of the butter (reserving 1 T), and add the flour, cooking until the roux is golden. Pour in the milk in a stream, whisking constantly. Simmer until thickened, season with salt and pepper. Toss with the sausage/mushroom/cheese mixture, and then with the pasta.
Place mixture in a casserole dish coated with cooking spray and sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over the top. Dot with small bits of the remaining 1 T of butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.