STUFFED MUSHROOM CAPS WITH BECHAMEL, PARMESAN AND PROSCUITTO (for six)
12 large mushrooms
2-1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped shallots or yellow onion
3 tablespoons chopped prosciutto or cooked ham
freshly ground black pepper
a thick béchamel (recipe follows)
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
fine, dry unflavored bread crumbs
- Slice off the ends of the mushroom stems. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp towel. If there are still traces of soil, wash each mushroom carefully under cold running water, working quickly. Dry well with a towel. Detach stems and chop them fine.
- Preheat oven to 500*.
- In a skillet, sauté the chopped shallots or onion in 2-1/2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat until pale gold in color. Add the chopped prosciutto and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the finely chopped mushroom stems, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Tilt the skillet and draw off all the fat with a spoon.
- In a bowl, mix the contents of the skillet with the warm béchamel. Add the grated cheese and mix again.
- Place the mushroom caps, bottoms up, in a butter-smeared baking dish. Sprinkle them lightly with salt, fill with béchamel stuffing, sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot each with butter. Place in the upper third of the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until a slight crust has formed. Allow to settle for 10 minutes before serving.
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- In a small pan heat the milk until it nearly boils.
- While milk is heating, melt the butter over low heat in a 4 to 6 cup heavy saucepan. When the butter has melted, add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Let the flour and butter bubble for 2 minutes, without ceasing to stir. Do not let the flour become colored.
- Turn off the heat and add the hot milk gradually, stirring constantly into the flour and butter mixture, until it is all incorporated. Turn the heat to low, add the salt and stir-cook the sauce until it is dense and thick.
from Marcella Hazan, The Classic Italian Cookbook