Thursday, August 23, 2012

Al Forno's Penne with Tomato, Cream & Five Cheeses

As I'm sure you already know, there is an abundance of cheesy pasta recipes out there. So does the world really need one more? I say there can never be too many. What I like about this one is the addition of gorgonzola to the mix. Of course you can add any variety of cheeses that you want. In fact, it's ideal for using up scraps of cheese leftover from other recipes. Plus it's extremely easy to throw together. Which is always much appreciated.

Serves 6 to 8

2 cups heavy cream
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced canned tomatoes with puree
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup coarsely shredded fontina cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
6 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 pound penne rigate or conchiglie rigate
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, sliced thinly

1.      Heat oven to 500º F.
2.      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
3.      In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except the pasta and butter). Stir well to combine.
4.      Drop the pasta into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.
5.      Pour the mixture into a shallow (1-inch) layer in a large baking dish or divide among six to eight shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cups in capacity).
6.      Dot with the butter, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

barely adapted from (originally adapted very slightly from Cucina Simpatica: Robust Trattoria Cooking by Johanne Killeen & George Germon)
tomatoes, cheeses, basil and salt
cream added
adding the penne
in a baking dish with butter
closer look
Al Forno's Penne with Tomato, Cream & Five Cheeses

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