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Recipes   /   Penne ai Quattro Formaggi – Four Cheese Penne

Penne ai Quattro Formaggi – Four Cheese Penne

Sep 28, 2015 by Gabriele Corcos


I grew up eating this pasta recipe at least once a week in my school, I remember it because we had to work for it! Our teachers would walk us into the school kitchen and help the cooks do all the prep for the Friday lunch. It was a way to enjoy a more relaxed day of school, but at the same time to keep alive the connection between ingredients and finished meal, I have the greatest memories of hanging with my classmates while grinding down gigantic shapes of cheese.

Cut to the day I was a father and my daughter asked me for some Mac ‘N’ Cheese: “You can buy at the store Babbo, my friends always have it at home…” Then she walked me to the prepared foods isle of the supermarket, and there they were. Nice little boxes lined up on the shelf, different flavors… different colors… That was enough for me to redirect my feet toward the cheese refrigerator and look for some “real” ingredients so we could prepare lunch together. That was the last day my daughters asked me to buy them the boxed version of this recipe.

Follow your instincts and feel free to use different kind of cheeses to achieve different flavor profiles.

Yields: 10 small kid size servings or 4-6 main servings / Prep Time: 10 mins / Cooking Time: 20 mins

  • 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.

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