Baked Whole Grain Shells with Porcini Mushrooms and Italian Sausage

This is a great entrée for cool weather. Hearty sausage and meaty mushrooms add depth to a bechamel napping whole grain pasta.

3.3 pounds Barilla Whole Grain Shells
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
4 pounds crumbled plain Italian sausage
2 cups white wine
4 pounds diced fresh porcini mushrooms
salt as needed
black pepper as needed
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 gallon warm milk
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicted on the package.  Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel plans and cool in a blast chiller.  Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container, refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. Saute the garlic in the oil for a minute, then add the sausage and brown it well. Add the wine and let it reduce. Add the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes to release their liquid. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Make the bechamel – Melt the butter and whisk in the flour.  Gradually whisk in the warm milk until the sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the sausage mixture, pasta, bechamel, parsley and half of the cheese.  Spread them in an oiled hotel pan. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until browned on top or refrigerate and heat through to order.