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!


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

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


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.


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.


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