Porcini, Cream, and Mushroom Mac & Cheese

Laura Welin

Porcini, Cream, and Mushroom Mac & Cheese
From Laura Werlin’s, Mac & Cheese, Please!
Porcini-rubbed cheese makes all the difference in this recipe where mushrooms already play the starring role.  Thankfully, Beehive Cheese Company in Utah created a cheese that answers the call and then some.


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

8 ounces cavatelli pasta, about 2 cups (or use penne)

5 tablespoons salted butter

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 pound mixed wild mushrooms (or use cremini mushrooms), stemmed and cut into ½-inch pieces

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups whole or reduced-fat milk

½ cup heavy cream

12 ounces Beehive Cheese Co. Queen Bee Porcini, coarsely grated
(Monterey Jack, Pt. Reyes Cheese Company Toma, or Fontina from Italy may be substituted)

8 ounces Triple Crème cheese such as Marin French Cheese Co. Triple Crème Brie or Brillat Savarin, rind removed, and cut (or spooned if very creamy) into ½-inch pieces

¼ teaspoon nutmeg


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 10 to 12 minutes, and drain. Reserve pot.


In a medium skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until soft and creamy in texture, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the thyme and a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.


Using the same pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and stir constantly until a paste forms, 30 to 45 seconds. Continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the mixture starts to darken slightly and smell a bit nutty. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the mixture starts to thicken and is just beginning to bubble around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add the cheeses and nutmeg, and stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth. 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 until the mushrooms are warmed through and mixture is combined.

Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with more black pepper. Serve right away.

Serves 6






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