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Five Cheese Penne


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I have been making this for years. It is out of one of the Barefoot Contessa books but I forget which one. It goes to all family and friend functions by request. I have a function next weekend and this yet again is on the menu at the insistence of our host!

I haven't modified it to low fat living. It may even be that it's okay to just leave it as it is given the tiny amount we eat anyway. On the rare occasion these days that I have pasta I can only eat a very small amount and then I'm full. I definitely classify this as a cheat food!

Five Cheese Penne

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 F.

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) or one 9"x13" pan. Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.


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