A fantastic baked pasta dish that’s the perfect indulgent treat. Five different kinds of cheese and cream combine to make a dish with a whole lot of flavor!
“Indulgent” was not chosen to describe this baked pasta by accident.
The definition of indulgent is “willing to allow someone to have or enjoy something even though it may not be proper, healthy, appropriate, etc.”. This baked pasta dish is not healthy in any way but I promise you that it’s one of “those” meals that you’ll allow yourself to enjoy on occasion simply because it’s just that good.
It’s creamy and rich and comforting and flavorful and oh so deliciously cheesy. Not light on calories but very high on the indulgence scale. It’s what I make when I feel like treating myself or want to make a great meal for guests that won’t take hours to put together.
In fact, this 5-cheese baked pasta is so amazingly good that I rarely make it (yes, it’s because I’ll eat the entire pan myself in two days).
Five cheeses: fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, pecorino romano, ricotta and perfectly-meltable fontina. You can assemble it all ahead of time (even the day before) and refrigerate until you’re ready to toss it in the oven (bring to room temp before baking). Full-fat ricotta is best or you can always make your own – it’s so easy and so much better than store-bought!
Add a nice salad, a crusty loaf of bread and a chilled bottle of white wine…then indulge!
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more for pasta water)
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 10.5 ounce can tomato puree
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella
- 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (plus more for garnish)
- 1/2 cup coarsely shredded fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 6 fresh basil leaves (coarsely chopped)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, place cream, tomatoes, cheeses, salt, and basil in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine. Add cooked pasta to cheese mixture and stir gently.
- Divide among six to eight shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2 cups capacity). Dot with butter, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes (watch it carefully). Sprinkle with extra pecorino romano, green onion, and parsley. Serve immediately.
This baked pasta can be made and assembled up to a day before, just bring to room temperature before baking. Recipe adapted from Al Forno restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 983 Total Fat: 75g Saturated Fat: 47g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 233mg Sodium: 843mg Carbohydrates: 49g Net Carbohydrates: 45g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 30g