Baked Pasta with Fontina and Wild Mushrooms


This may seem like an awful lot of cherry tomatoes but they do make the most spectacular tasting sauce. Fontina is the cheese of choice for this recipe but you could use another good melting cheese, either emmenthal or gruyere.

Ingredients Serves 6

1.5kg cherry tomatoes, washed
4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100gr unsalted butter
1 heaped tsp sea salt
1 level tsp caster sugar

350gr chanterelles or other wild mushrooms
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
25gr unsalted butter
350gr rigatoni or penne
250gr fontina, sliced
sea salt and black pepper

40gr parmesan, grated
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the sauce, place the tomatoes in a pan, cover and cook over a low heat stirring now and then until they collapse, this will take about twenty minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently uncovered for sixty minutes until thickened but still able to pour.

You will probably need to cook the mushrooms in two batches. Heat half of the butter and the oil over a high flame and fry the mushrooms stirring constantly, cook until all the liquid they give out has evaporated. Place in a bowl and fry the rest in the same way and then season.

Preheat your oven to 200c. Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil, adding enough salt to make the water taste as salty as the Mediterranean Sea ( according to my Italian friend!) Add the pasta and cook for slightly under the time it suggests on the packet; remember that it’s going into the oven next.

In an oven proof dish, layer the ingredients. Firstly, a layer of the tomato sauce, followed by the pasta then the mushrooms and the fontina. Carry on in this way until you have used all the ingredients, however you want a layer of tomato sauce to finish which you then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and drizzle some oil over. Bake for twenty to twenty five minutes until golden.

Enjoy with crusty bread and red wine!


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