Pasta with four Italian cheeses - pronto!
BOSTON — Pasta with a quartet of four Italian cheeses. I know what you're thinking: Glorified macaroni and cheese. Si, but only in the sense that the Chevy Nova and the Ferrari both have four wheels. This simple, baked blend is being served in a growing number of nuevo Italian restaurants. And it's no wonder. The smooth fontina and creamy mascarpone melt and meld with the soft, pungent blue gorgonzola and the nutty spicyness of the king of Italian cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano. You could even try substituting a cheese (Italian, of course) or even add a fifth one if you like. Bellissima e rapidissima. Just like a Ferrari. PASTA BAKED WITH FOUR ITALIAN CHEESES 1 pound dried penne, rigatoni, or ziti Salt 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 4 ounces fontina, grated 3 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled 3 ounces mascarpone Ground pepper, to taste 1/2 cup fresh (soft) bread crumbs Chopped Italian parsley for garnish Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large pot, bring about 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt; stir in pasta, and cook a minute or two less than directed on package. Meanwhile, heat butter and cream in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan and stir, over low heat, until butter has melted. Stir in the cheeses, and continue stirring until melted; add pepper to taste. Set aside. Drain pasta and toss in a large bowl with cheese sauce until thoroughly coated. Pour pasta in lightly-greased 8 by 10-inch oven-proof baking dish; top with breadcrumbs and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is bubbly, and breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano if you wish. Serves 4 to 6.