Everyone loves this recipe, and we love it too because it is so easy to prepare. That’s what you want if you decide to do your own catering. Any combination of your favorite mushrooms can be used in this recipe. The dish can be prepared up to assembly, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. On the day of the wedding, remove plastic wrap and bake as directed in a preheated oven. Your guests will appreciate the wonderful aroma drifting out of the kitchen. If you cannot serve the pasta when it is ready, simply reduce the oven temperature to 200° and keep it warm.
Baked Farfalle with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, Wild Mushrooms, and Feta Cheese
1 pound dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced
8 ounces small white or brown mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
3 ounces ripe olives, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onions
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
For the Sauce:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Topping:
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley, or watercress for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook. Drain the pasta, then return it to the cooking pot.
While pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add half of the mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes, or until just golden on the edges. Cook remaining mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of the butter.
In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat. Whisk in flour, and cook one minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium-high and whisk constantly until sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat. Stir in salt, garlic powder, and 1 cup Parmesan cheese.
Gently fold the tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, green onions, feta cheese, and parsley into the cooked pasta. Pour sauce over the top, gently fold ingredients together, then pour into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
To prepare the topping, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Stir in the bread crumbs and remove from the heat. Sprinkle buttered crumbs over the pasta. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake until hot and bubbly and topping is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Divide pasta evenly among 8 serving plates. Garnish with a sprig of fresh herb.
Makes 8 main-dish servings.