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Quattro Formaggi (four cheese) Pasta
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Need some comfort food? Next time you think about buying that box of maccaroni and cheese, gather up the ingredients for this authentic cheesy pasta dish instead. It has been in our family for generations, and it never fails to please children and adults alike.
For this dish, I like to use spinach pasta. Traditional or high fiber pastas may be used as well. Use your favorite shape and don't forget to cook the pasta until it is al dente (a little hard).
The four cheeses are traditionally gruyere, fontina, mozzarella and parmesan. This recipe also provides substitute cheeses which can be used to create a close second to the original dish.
You can whip this up in a little over a half hour which is about the same time it takes to order and receive a pizza. If you compare the cost, it pays to keep the cheeses on hand in your refrigerator. Like pizza you can add toppings to the pasta. We enjoy adding about 1/4 pound of mushrooms, sauteed in butter or grilled.
- 1/4 pound gruyere or swiss cheese, cubed
- 1/4 pound fontina or munster cheese, cubed
- 1/4 pound mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1/2 cup parmesan or romano cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 pound pasta, cooked al dente
- 1 cup milk, hot but not boiling
- Soak cubed cheeses in hot milk for about 30 minutes. Cheeses will soften but will not melt. Melting will finish when combined with the pasta. You may discard all or some of the milk if you want a thick and sticky pasta or you can leave all the milk if you prefer a thinner consistency.
- Place drained pasta into oven-proof dish. Immediatly pour melted butter over pasta and toss. Pour one-half of cheese mixture on pasta, tossing gently.
- Add remainder of cheese mixture over pasta and top with grated cheese.
- Serve as soon as pasta is completed.