Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Creamy Baked Four-Cheese Pasta

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It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Cook's Illustrated.  My husband is a fan of pasta and cheese.  I mean, what's not to like?  On one of my busy nights, he took control of shopping and dinner and treated the family to this cheesy pasta dish.  Definitely a crowd pleaser!!  And, oh, so simple. 

Creamy Baked Four-Cheese Pasta
(Cook's Illustrated)


In a food processor, process with the steel blade until coursely ground:
     4 slices white sandwich bread, torn up
     2 TB melted unsalted butter

Toss with
     1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Set aside.

Pasta and Cheese

Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Cook until al dente:
     1 lb penne pasta
When finished, drain, return to poss and toss with:
     1 TB olive oil

     2 tsp unsalted butter

Add to the butter, stirring until golden, about a minute
     2 tsp all-purpose flour

Whisk in and bring to a simmer:
     2 C heavy cream
Whisk frequently until it's thickened.

Remove from heat and add:
     1/4 tsp salt
     1/4 tsp pepper
Cover to keep warm.

Combine in a large bowl:
     4 oz shredded fontina cheese (about 1 1/3 C)
     3 oz crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 3/4 C)
     1 oz grated Pecorino Romano cheese  (about 1/2 C)
     1/2 oz grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 C)

Add the cooked pasta to the cheese and pour in the hot creamy mixture.  Cover and let sit for three minutes.  Remove cover and mix until the cheeses are melted and all ingredients are combined.  Place in a 9 x 13" baking dish, and sprinkle with the bread topping.  Bake until the topping is golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.  Serve immediately.


1)  Add a  14.5 oz. can of drained, diced tomatoes to the pasta when you add the creamy mixture.    Add 1/4 C chopped fresh basil just before you put it in the baking dish.

2)  Skip the salt and instead add 4 oz chopped prosciutto and 1 C frozen peas to the pasta when you add the creamy mixture.


Helena said...

That looks really good. Now I'm hungry.

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