Near Assisi, a Pasta Dish for Coronavirus Diversion
The days seem to fly here in the Umbria countryside while under coronavirus lockdown. This morning started with a walk up our road…
….to the stall of our two donkeys and a few of our goats for a photo of Pino culling the cashmere wool of one of our cashmere goats:
Odd tasks outside followed – such as hoeing our vegetable garden – and then it was time for lunch preparation.
I’m enjoying putting together recipes – and sharing them -as an enjoyable diversion to ward off a CPA (Coronavirus Panic Attack).
Our primo (“first course”) today? Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggi al Forno (“Oven-baked Pasta with Four Cheeses”)
Topping pasta with a creamy mixture of four cheeses is a tasty dish – but topping that creamy pasta with mozzarella and then slipping it into the oven to create a crust is another taste treat.
Here’s all you need for this dish for four persons……
(and I estimated all quantities…so just look at the photo above to judge approximate amounts – and…..enjoy creating!)
- penne pasta (or rigatoni – or similar) – 2 handfuls for every portion
- gorgonzola cheese – about 3 oz (i used a slice as you can see above)
- groviera cheese (gruyere) or emmenthal or fontina – about 3 oz but I used a slice about 1” thick (see photo)
- grated Parmesan (or romano) cheese – about 1/4 c?
- taleggio cheese -usually the fourth cheese used in a pasta dish of four cheeses – but I had ricotta on hand and used instead – about 1/3 c
- 1- 1/4 milk, approximately
- 1/2 fresh mozzarella
- grated nutmeg, q. b. (“quanto basta” – or “as much as you need”)
- salt, pepper, q.b.
Put the pasta water on to boil and pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Heat the milk but do not let it come to boiling point:
Mix into the milk, the groviera cheese, after grating:
Crumble the gorgonzola…..
….and stir into the hot milk, also adding grated nutmeg:
Add black pepper, continuing to mix…
…and then stir in the ricotta (or taleggio, if preferred):
Add a few tablespoons of the grated Parmesan (or romano) cheese (more cheese will be used for the topping).
Add the pasta to salted boiling water.
At this point, transfer the quattro formaggi mixture to frying pan – so as to mix more easily with the pasta when cooked – and let simmer on very low heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
Drain the pasta when not quite al dente….
…..and then fold the pasta into the creamy quattro formaggi mixture….
…adding pepper if desired:
Turn the pasta into a stainless steel baking pan and top with sliced mozzarella pieces:
Sprinkle with Parmesan and then bake for about twenty minutes – or until the top forms a golden crust:
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