Penne with Five Cheeses

Really, this became Penne with Four Cheeses, because I didn’t want to add the Gorgonzola, so I just doubled up on the fresh mozzarella.  Many of you may be questioning my Wisconsin upbringing, given my pickiness about cheese.  Let’s just say that I know what I like, and as long as I have to eat this for dinner, too, I might as well make what I like, right?  The Barefoot Contessa herself claims this to be a versatile recipe, with some forgiveness when it comes to the varieties of cheese and their amounts.  If I had wanted to stay true to the title of the recipe, I could have added some freshly shredded parmesan and called it a day.  But here I am, telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  While we’re on the truth subject, you’ll see that I didn’t divide the pasta into six individual serving dishes.  Because I don’t have six individual serving dishes, and besides, what if I want to eat 1/4 of the whole dish all by myself in one sitting?  Hmm?  What then?

As it was, my son crawled up into my lap five minutes into the meal and relieved me of most of my portion – it was that good.

I also doubled the amount of tomatoes to keep it from drying out, and because of the larger dish size, I reduced the oven temp to 450 and cooked the whole thing for about 25 minutes – long enough for the cheeses to melt and the sauce to become bubbly.  I thought that the finished product might be somewhat bland, given the general lack of seasoning in the sauce, but the absence of garlic and other spices just let the cheese do its lovely job of tasting great.

Barefoot Contessa Family Style, p. 89


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