Penne ai Quattro Formaggi (Super Tuscan Mac ‘N’ Cheese)

It is interesting how different cultures have very similar recipes that fall into the category of “Comfort Food“: Mashed Potatoes, Meatballs, Mac ‘n’ Cheese just to name a few.

Each and every family that I know has a few recipes that are executed “on demand” whenever it might feel appropriate: if somebody is sick, if the kids are driving you nuts, if grandma is coming for a Sunday dinner. We are no different!

However there are a few food items that no matter how much my kids implore me to cook, I will never have in my pantry. Mac ‘N’ Cheese is the perfect example of how I try to please my daughters without giving in to their requests, and assemble a dish of pasta seasoned with orange cheese powder.

This recipe is the Italian traditional “Pasta ai Quattro Formaggi”, literally translated “Pasta with Four Cheeses”. It is extremely easy and a real crowd pleaser, ideal as a comfort food dinner but also a great item for kids and adult parties as well. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTI

Prep Time: 10 mins/ Cook Time: 20 mins/ Serves: 10 kids servings or 4-6 main servings

1 cup whole milk
4 ounces Gorgonzola, cut into small cubes
4 ounces Taleggio, cut into small cubes
2 ounces Gruyere, grated
2 ounces Parmesan, grated, plus more for topping
1 pound mezze pasta (Short Penne)
1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1

Adjust oven rack to top shelf. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

2

Heat the milk in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cheese to the hot milk and start melting it over a medium flame. With a wooden spoon, stir gently but continuously, until it’s all melted together.

3

Cook the penne al dente, strain it about two minutes before indicated in the box, then toss the penne and the cheese together, season with salt and a generous amount of ground black pepper. Divide the penne between 10 (6 ounce) ramekins. Top with a light sprinkling of plain breadcrumbs and a grating of fresh Parmesan cheese.

4

Turn broiler on high and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until golden and crisp on top.