The key to its rich mushroom flavor is the mushroom broth, made by soaking dried mushrooms in hot water until softened. You won’t need the lemon juice, just the zest, so feel free to slice it up to freshen your water glass. Cook, relax and enjoy!
What you'll need: ½ oz dried mixed mushrooms
8 oz yellow onion
8 oz cremini mushrooms
4 oz Portobello mushrooms
1 oz Parmesan
8 oz gemelli
2 Tbsp butter
6.75 oz whole milk
freshly ground black pepper
Equipment: large pot
Recipe steps: 1. Soak mushrooms
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove 2 cups boiling water and pour over dried mushrooms. Set aside until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
While mushrooms soak, halve, peel and finely chop onion. Trim cremini mushroom stems. Slice cremini and portobello mushrooms. Grate Parmesan and pick thyme leaves from stems. Measure out 1 cup mushroom soaking liquid and chop rehydrated mushrooms.
Add gemelli to boiling water and cook until not quite al dente (it will continue to cook in the oven), about 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and transfer to a 2-quart baking dish (like an 8x8 or similar).
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, thyme and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté until onions soften, 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with pepper and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté until tender and browned, adding splashes of water if skillet gets dry, 6–8 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl.
Melt butter in same skillet over medium high. When melted, sprinkle over 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, a little at a time so the butter and flour don’t clump, and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup mushroom liquid and simmer, whisking, until thickened, about 4 minutes.
Pour sauce over gemelli, add half of mushrooms, half of Parmesan and stir to combine. Top with remaining mushrooms and Parmesan. Bake until bubbling and cheese is melted, 8–10 minutes. Zest lemon over top. Enjoy!