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Backstory“To die for” creamy, cheesy “mac ‘n cheese!” This is great for company as a side dish and I guarantee everyone will ask for the recipe. It is perfect for a new, New Year’s Day tradition. Very rich, and something you might want to eat only on special occasions (though I wouldn’t mind eating it every day). Make it the “real” way at least once. If you want to lighten it up, then you can always use low fat milk and/or lower fat cheeses, but it won’t be as fantastic! Trust me on this one!
- 2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Crushed Tomatoes (in thick tomato puree)
- ½ Cup Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- ½ Cup Shredded Imported Italian Fontina Cheese
- ¼ Cup Crumbled Italian Gorgonzola Cheese
- 3 TBL. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
- ¼ Pound Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thin, and then into smaller pieces
- 6 Fresh, Large Basil Leaves, (roll them up all together and slice fine and then chop)
- ½ tsp. Dried Red Pepper Flakes (or more to taste)
- 1 Pound Imported Penne Rigate Pasta
- Kosher Salt
- 4 TBL of Unsalted Butter
- ¼ Cup Shredded, Fresh Parmesano Reggiano Cheese
- Heat your oven to 500 degrees. Bring about 5 quarts of water to a boil in a big stockpot. (Remember to always add the Salt at the same time you are adding your pasta to cook).
- Combine the above 9 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix it well.
- Drop the Penne pasta into the boiling water, along with about 1-1/2 TBL of Kosher Salt (if you are using regular fine-grained salt, only put in a scant Tablespoon, or to taste) Cook for only 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander. Add the par-boiled Penne Pasta to the Cheese Mixture and toss it all up to combine well.
- Pour it all into a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish that you have sprayed with Olive Oil vegetable spray. Dot the top with about 4 TBL of Unsalted Butter, cut into very small pieces.
- Bake, uncovered, in a 500 degree oven for 28-30 minutes, until the top is nice and melted, crusty and browning beautifully!
- Take it out and let it set for about 5 minutes before serving.
- Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano Cheese over the top.
- This Mac n Cheese is way over the top! Not the kind your Grandma used to make!