Ziti with Four Cheeses / Ziti con Quattro Formaggi
SERVES 4 TO 6
Everyone has their favorite comfort food and mine is this rich and quick-to-make macaroni and cheese with four cheeses that is a specialty of the Hotel Belvedere Syrene in Sorrento. Instead of making a cream sauce, mixing in the pasta, and baking the dish in the oven, the cheeses are added directly to the hot pasta and stirred over low heat to melt them and served immediately. Use a short cut of pasta such as ziti, rigatoni, or medium shells.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 pound ziti
- 1/2 cup diced Fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup diced Asiago cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Fine sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- To toast the bread crumbs heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small sauté pan, add the bread crumbs, and cook them until golden brown. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and set side. Cook the ziti until it is al dente. Drain and return to the pasta pot. Over low heat, stir the ziti with the remaining 4 tablespoons butter until it is well coated. Scatter the Fontina, mozzarella, and Asiago cheeses over the top and let them remain on top for 1 to 2 minutes to warm over low heat. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to melt the cheeses, then stir in the Parmigiano, nutmeg, salt, and heavy cream until well mixed. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to a serving platter. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top and serve immediately.