There are a couple types of food that I seem to buy endless quantities of: pasta, granola, eggs, and about every single cheese known to man. You will never catch me running out of any of those ingredients. I buy these ingredients like it's my job. Lately, my cheese drawers have been exploding and cheese is waging war on the rest of the fridge.
I stumbled across Ina's Penne with Five Cheeses and it's a dish I've always wanted to make. Who can resist a dish of pasta swimming in a light tomato sauce and bubbling with cheese?
I had everything on hand. All 5 cheeses and then some: Pecorino, Gorgonzola, Ricotta, Fontina and Mozzarella. This dish was finally going to happen!
This recipe is so easy and delicious! The pasta comes together in no time. All you have to do is preheat the oven, parboil some penne for a few minutes, and mix together the cream, cheeses, and tomato sauce. I added a few pinches of herbs and garlic powder to liven things up a bit. Then you mix the parboiled pasta into the cheese mixture and bake for about 10-12 minutes. The result is absolute perfection! I love how the tips of the pasta turn a crispy golden brown. The whole dish is so inviting!
My daughter came down as this was coming out of the oven and she said, "This pasta looks way better than anything from a restaurant and I have to get some pictures of it." Upon first bite she was like, "oh my...this dish is dangerously good." So, if you're up for a splurge, then this is definitely worthy. It is beyond decadent and delicious.
Penne with Five Cheeses
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa website
by Ina Garten
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup shredded imported Italian Fontina
1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
4 tablespoons 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.