The warmth and ease of a casserole meets the subtle and classic flavors of French onion soup in this baked pasta dish. First, you'll caramelize the onions and brown the mushrooms, then mix them with pasta, cream, and thyme, layering flavor upon flavor. Finally, you'll top the casserole with croutons and cheese (just like the soup!) and bake. Richly cheesy and perfectly indulgent, this dish might even top the classic it was inspired by. Tip: Easy way to remove thyme from stem: just pinch the top and run your fingers down the stem. Presto! The leaves should just fall off.
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You Will Need
Medium Oven-Safe Casserole Dish
Large Non-Stick Pan
Before You Cook
Prepare the Ingredients
Cut mushrooms into ¼" slices.
Halve and peel onion. Slice halves into thin strips.
Coarsely crush croutons.
Meat lovers! We recommend seasoning all meats with a pinch of salt and pepper. If using ground pork, we recommend cooking in step 2 before adding onions and mushrooms, stirring occasionally until no pink remains, 5-7 minutes. If using chicken breasts, we recommend patting dry and, on a separate cutting board, cutting into 1" dice. Use a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat with 2 tsp. olive oil, stirring chicken occasionally until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, 5-7 minutes. If using shrimp, pat dry. Use a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat with 1 tsp. olive oil, cooking shrimp undisturbed until seared on one side, 2-3 minutes. Flip, and cook until shrimp reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 1-2 minutes. We recommend topping pasta with shrimp or chicken.
Cook the Mushroom-Onion Mixture
Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil, mushrooms, onion, garlic, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper to hot pan.
Stir occasionally until onion and mushrooms are caramelized and deep brown, 10-12 minutes.
While mushroom-onion mixture cooks, cook pasta.
Cook the Pasta
Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes.
Drain pasta in a colander, shaking to remove as much water as possible. Set aside.
Reserve pot; no need to wipe clean.
Make the Pasta Mixture
Return pot used to cook pasta to medium-high heat.
Add cream, vegetable base, half the thyme (reserve remaining for garnish), half the mozzarella (reserve remaining for topping), cooked pasta, and mushroom-onion mixture to hot pot.
Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, stir occasionally until slightly thickened, 2-4 minutes.
Remove from burner.
Bake Casserole and Finish Dish
Pour pasta mixture into prepared casserole dish. For best results use an 8" casserole dish. Top with croutons and remaining mozzarella.
Bake in hot oven until cheese is golden brown, 10-14 minutes.
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, garnishing with remaining thyme. Bon appétit!
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