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Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

PENNE WITH FIVE CHEESES (from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)

Serves 6

This recipe comes from George Germon and Johanne Killeen and their wonderful cookbook Cucina Simpatica. They own the award-winning restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, called Al Forno, and we make pilgrimages there from time to time. This dish is easy to make for your family but elegant enough to serve to company.

Kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded imported Italian fontina (1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola (1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.

Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.

Divide the pasta mixture among 6 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2- to 2-CUP capacity). Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

This is a very versatile recipe; even George and Johanne make lots of variations. I like to double the
Gorgonzola and add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

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