This was quite literally one of the greatest meals to come out of my kitchen in weeks. In fact, it was the greatest thing I’d eaten in weeks. I actually wanted to make something like this 2 weeks ago when I originally bought my first container of mascarpone and it took all the way until now to follow through.
To be exact, it took until it was 28 degrees celcius outside with insufferable humidity for me to decide it was a good day to bake more skyr cheesecakes and make this mushroom, mascarpone and spinach paste bake. It was a lot of stove/oven time in a very hot and humid house. Obviously it’s the hot days that you’re supposed to do these things on and not use your bbq. Outside. Although there is currently one million hornets residing under my deck so it isn’t particularly safe to be out there atm. Thankfully tomorrow my landlord is coming armed with a ladder, hornet nest spray and whatever else you use to kill those buggers.
Usually I’m not the first to go on a murdering spree… but when they attack you for no reason and make it impossible to sit on your deck in the beautiful sunshine… they need to die. #sorrynotsorry
I’m also not sorry for toughing the humidity to make this. As Mark and I sat at the dinner table, we hardly said a word to each other about anything other than how amazing our dinner was and how happy I was that there was still exactly enough ingredients left to make it again next week.
At first I divided it out so that it would serve 6 with salad. That didn’t happen. It was way too good to stop eating so half of it went within like 15 minutes. The rest I put in to 2 containers for our lunches today since there was no way we would be willing to wait until dinner to finish it off. We’re also going on a much needed date night to one of our favorite restaurants so, there’s that too.
If you don’t feel like having the oven on, you can skip the whole baking part of the recipe. We happen to just love melty cheese on top of basically all the foods we eat AAANNNNDDDDD when the pasta on top gets all brown and delicious. BUT you could just sprinkle cheese on top and cover it with a lid to let it melt. If you do that, just don’t undercook the pasta like I instruct in the recipe since it won’t be in the oven to finish cooking.
Okay, I’m off to destroy one of the peanut butter skyr cheesecakes I made yesterday and get the post ready to share with you this weekend! You’re really gonna want this one, guys. Peanut butter + cheesecake for breakfast is basically what dreams are made of.
- 1½ TBSP butter
- 1 lb sliced cremini or mini portobello mushrooms
- 160g baby spinach
- ¾ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ lb of your favorite pasta (I used casarecce)
- 2 C whole milk
- ⅔ C mascarpone
- 1¼ C shredded mozzarella
- small pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp mustard*
- 3 TBSP all purpose flour
- salt, to taste*
- Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Meanwhile, heat butter in an oven proof deep, large skillet over high heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and pepper. Cook, stirring every so often until cooked to your liking (mine took about 10 minutes). Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently until wilted. Add salt to taste and scrape in to a colander to drain.
- Combine ¼ C of the milk with the 3 TBSP of flour in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the remaining milk, ¾ C of the mozzarella, mascarpone, mustard and nutmeg in to the skillet you used to cook the mushrooms. Turn the heat to medium high and slowly whisk in the flour/ milk mixture and continue to whisk until the sauce has thickened and the cheese is completely melted, about 6-8 minutes. Add salt to taste (see note).
- Stir pasta and mushroom/spinach mixture in to the skillet until evenly distributed. Top with remaining mozzarella and bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. If you like, broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese.
- Serve warm with a crisp, fruity wine.
You want the sauce to taste quite a bit saltier than you think you want it. Once you add the pasta, it will taste significantly less salty. The worst thing you can do is under season pasta dishes (especially with white sauces) or it will taste like nothing. Don't be afraid of salt!
We had ours with Beringer's White Zinfandel (not sponsored). It's our favorite and it pairs perfectly with white pasta dishes!