Perfect for Almost Fall!

Dear Friends,

It’s time … the leaves are falling and every coffee shop is offering pumpkin something!

I give you once again my favorite “almost fall” recipe … Baked Pasta Casserole. When you’re not quite ready to serve the full-on Tuscan Roast or Short Ribs, this is the perfect transition from summer to fall. It’s warm, colorful, and of course, you know it …  effortless! Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you … this dish comes together easily!

Given that I’ve just posted about National Celiac Day, I want to suggest you can make this dish with my very favorite gluten-free pasta, Jovial. It’s fantastic! You will see it in many grocery stores and you can also purchase online. For the roux, use a flour substitute such as rice flour. Also on the Jovial site are Einkhorn flours and pastas,
which many who are gluten intolerant find easier to enjoy. You can learn more about Einkhorn here.

Now, excuse me while I go in search of warmer clothes to take back to the mountains!

From our home to yours,


Baked Pasta Casserole

SERVES 8 — 10   Claudia Heath


2 cups finely chopped onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb shiitake mushrooms,
stems discarded, sliced
4 tbsp butter, divided
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 28-oz cans plum tomatoes,
drained well, coarsely chopped
¼ lb thinly sliced prosciutto,
cut into strips
1 cup shredded Fontina
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1½ cups freshly shredded Parmesan
⅔ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 lb farfalle pasta


In a large skillet, sauté onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano in olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is softened. Add mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat for 10–15 min until mushrooms are tender. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

In the same skillet, melt 3 tbsp butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook the roux for 3 min, stirring continuously. Add milk in a stream, whisking until mixture is thickened, 3–5 min. Add sauce to mushroom mixture. Add tomatoes, prosciutto, fontina, Gorgonzola, 1 ¼ cups Parmesan, and parsley.

Cook pasta for 5 min – pasta will not be done. Drain and add to mushroom mixture. Transfer to a buttered 9×13 or 4-qt casserole. Top with remaining butter and Parmesan. Bake at 450° for 25–30 min.


  • Casserole may be prepared earlier in the day or 1–2 days in advance. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before baking.
  • You may substitute white button mushrooms for the shiitake mushrooms.
  • For a gluten-free alternative, you may substitute pulled chicken for the pasta – approx 4 cups for one casserole. Casserole will be soupier and is good served over rice.
  • Recipe increases well. Bake in two casseroles.


Jovial Farfalle Pasta
available here


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