1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled, whole
4 T butter salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 oz penne (about 2 1/2 cups dry pasta)
3 oz Bel Paese cheese, thinly sliced or cubed - or any creamy, mild cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
Preparation: How to make the Pasticcio di penne alla valdostana:
Saute' the mushrooms with the whole garlic clove in 2 tablespoons of the butter over a high heat. Add salt and pepper, lower the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Discard the garlic. Cook the pasta as usual. Drain and dress with the remaining butter.
Butter an ovenproof dish and cover the bottom with a layer of penne. Distribute about a quarter of the mushrooms and the sliced cheese evenly over the pasta and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan. Add another layer of pasta and cover with mushrooms and cheese as before.
Repeat until you have used all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of sliced cheeses. Pour over the cream, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake, covered the pasticcio di penne alla valdostana with foil, in a preheated oven at 400° for 10 minutes.
Bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes, or until a light crust has formed on the top. Remove the pasticcio di penne alla valdostana from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Adapted from: Gastronomy of Italy Anna Del Conte Prentice Hall Press