This latest recipe features Dakin Dairy Farms in Myakka City, Florida (near Tampa). This farm is owned by a multigenerational farming family that is committed to environmentally sustainable practices and state-of-the-art production. They now even offer tours (road trip!).
This spin on macaroni and cheese can be made with any combination of cheeses, but the authors love the following selection for the Gruyere's nuttiness, the piquancy of the Gorgonzola, and the saltiness of the pecorino Romano and Parmesan.
Baked Penne with Four Cheeses
2/3 pound penne pasta
1 cup milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tsp unsalted butter
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp course salt
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 cup freshly shredded Gruyere cheese
3/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Butter 9x13 inch baking pan, set aside.
2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
3. While pasta is cooking, slowly heat milk and cream in a medium saucepan to just below a simmer. Do not boil.
4. In another saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and whisk over low heat 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in hot milk mixture and continue stirring until mixture thickens and comes to a simmer. Whisk in salt, nutmeg, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, pecorino Romano, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1/2 tsp pepper.
5. Add cheese sauce to drained pasta, mixing thoroughly. Cover pot and let stand 3 minutes. Stir pasta and cheese, then spread into prepared baking dish.
6. Combine remaining pepper, breadcrumbs, and remaining Parmesan; sprinkle mixture over top of pasta. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Serve hot.
This stuff was AMAZING. Now I will admit that when it came out of the oven, the dish was decimated in about 5 minutes by my family and I didn't get a picture of the finished product. I scoured the Internet to find a picture that resembled what I had before the hungry dogs dug in, and this is what it looked like. Soul food, I tell you!
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