Auntie Karen’s Party Macaroni (Cinque Formaggi Penne)

This recipe is from Nicole Shadel. If you haven’t seen her profile yet, check it out here!

This is a great dish to make if you are having a large crowd for dinner. The measurements are estimates—no need to be precise. A little more or a little less will not alter the taste; this is a baked pasta dish, so have fun with it.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup grated Italian cheese—use any one kind or a combination of your favorite (Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano or a Romano/Parmesan blend.).
  • 6 oz Fontina (Italian) cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons (about ¼ c) ricotta cheese
  • ¼ lb fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 2 cups half and half or heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 handful of fresh basil, roughly torn
  • 1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter, cut into cubes     

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 X 13 baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta (a little under) al dente. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the penne, basil and butter. Gently mix the penne into the bowl with the rest of ingredients. Fold in the basil. Pour mixture into baking dish, then top the mixture with the butter and bake (covered) until bubbly and brown on top—about 1 hour or so. Remove the cover the last 15 minutes of cooking, allowing the top to become golden brown. Let the pan rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes..