We named this dish mac and cheese even though it’s not exactly mac and cheese. It’s more like a mix of stuffed pasta shells and cheesy corn soup.
When Amore Store in Berlin asked us if we wanted to test a few products, we could not say no. In Amore Store, you can find authentic Italian products. The store has been one of our absolute favorites for years and we just love to browse through the small store and discover new things.
Mac And Cheese On Steroids
- 50 g giant pasta shells cooked a minute shorter than instruction says. (drain the water and coat lightly with oil, but do not wash your pasta!!!!!! Ever!!!!!!!)
- 250 g button mushrooms roughly chopped
- 250 g oyster mushrooms roughly chopped
- 400 g spinach
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs sherry vinegar or black rice vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 250 g ricotta
- lemon zest
- black pepper
- *olive oil
- cayenne or chili flakes optional
The Corn Bechamel:
- 4 cobs of corn
- 3 stalks of lemongrass bashed and finely chopped (bottom half only)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 dry chili optional
- 250 cream
- 250 milk
- smoked paprika
- 1 tbs sherry vinegar
- Freshly grated ginger
- 100 g grated cheddar
- *100 g diced scamorza cheese you can choose any melty cheese you like, but the smokiness of the scamorza cheese did wonders here
- Heat a large deep pan. Add olive oil, the onion, and when the onions are translucent, the garlic. Sautee for three minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic. Push the onion and garlic to one side of the pan, add a bit more oil, get it hot, then add the mushrooms and salt. Do not overcrowd the pan. Only add so many that they all get direct contact with the pan. Once the first round of mushrooms is seared and slightly wilted, push them to the side and mix with the onions and garlic. Keep doing that until all the mushrooms are cooked and well seared. Deglaze by adding soy and vinegar. Let cook for 5 minutes, until everything has softened. Mix in the spinach and remove from heat. Watch the spinach disappear. Transfer into a bowl and allow to cool down a bit, then fold in the ricotta, lemon zest, and more salt and pepper (and chili) as needed.
The Corn Bechamel:
- Cut the kernels off of the cob. The easiest way to do it is by cutting or breaking the cob in two, shaving it down with a knife to get just the kernels, then going with the knife’s back and scraping out any leftover corn bits juice. The starch will help thicken the sauce/soup/béchamel.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter, sauté the lemongrass for a minute, then add the corn, followed by the milk and the cream. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the corn has softened and the sauce has thickened. Blend with an immersion blender. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve. This step is essential, as you want your sauce to be very creamy and smooth.
- Add cheddar, salt, vinegar, and chili to taste.
- Now you are ready to stuff your pasta shells, so do it. It takes time, but true happiness is the only thing worth spending your time on.
- Arrange your stuffed pasta shells in an oven-proof dish, pour over your corn béchamel, and scatter the diced scamorza all around. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes, depending on your oven. You can switch to broil before serving for some extra melty goodness.
- Eat. You now have reached nirvana.
Check more recipes here.