Five Cheese Pasta

Dinner tonight consisted of roasted fresh organic Brussels sprouts* Myriam brought with her, roasted organic broccoli from our CSA (that I spent hours washing!), and Five Cheese Pasta. Everyone loved it, from the 2-year-old on up.

I’ve modified this recipe from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Family Style. It serves as a great starting point and will put up with a lot of substitutions and variations.

  • 2 cups milk or cream or any combination
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes. They can be fresh – dice, crush and then measure, or canned in thick tomato puree
  • 1-1/4 cup mixed grated cheese. We’ve found that almost any kinds work – gorgonzola, pecorino romano, fontina, parmesan, cheddar … strong flavors are especially good but we use whatever we have. See below* for the original mixture.
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese or cream cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella, grated
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1 T dried
  • 1 pound gluten-free (or gluten-ous) pasta–penne, fusilli, or any other pasta. Note that this may be more than one package.
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

Preheat the oven to 400 ° F.

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

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

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook. For gluten-free pasta, follow the directions or subtract a minute from the time. For regular pasta, cook for just 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.

Pour into a greased casserole, dot with the butter and bake uncovered until bubbly and brown on top, 10-20 minutes.

* The original recipe calls for the delicious combination of
1/2 c grated romano (1-1/2 oz)
1/2 c shredded fontina (1-1/2 oz)
1/4 c crumbled gorgonzola (1-1/2 oz)
to make the 1-1/4 c cheese.

* Finally posted the Brussels sprouts recipe. See the post.

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