Monday, March 12, 2007

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta

M. and I like to keep things low-key on Friday nights. We often find ourselves tired and unmotivated, and we typically just stay home and watch a Netflix. This week we branched out and had a few friends to dinner. I had the opportunity to visit a school during the day (in effect a sort-of day off) and thus was more motivated then our typical takeout Friday night fare.

Sometimes when you tinker with a recipe, things go great. This was not one of those times. I subbed rigatoni for penne and I think that altered the sauce to pasta ratio. I also rushed the thickening step in the sauce, so we were left with a thinner sauce with clumps of cheese on pasta that was a touch too big. Now, cheese is cheese and the dish was still good overall. But it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I will try again and repeat it in the future, with the appropriate ingredients and minus the rushing. After all, how can rich creamy cheesy pasta be wrong?

I forgot to photograph my version of the dish (which is probably a good thing) so I'll just borrow Cooking Light's!

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta

Cooking Light - November 2006

The nutty flavor of fontina and creaminess of mascarpone create a delicious updated version of mac and cheese. If your supermarket doesn't stock mascarpone cheese, substitute full-fat cream cheese. For a dinner party, bake the pasta in individual gratin dishes for 15 minutes.

1 pound uncooked penne
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
3 cups fat-free milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
3 (1-ounce) slices white bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in salt and black pepper. Add cooked pasta, stirring to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Tear bread into several pieces. Place bread in a food processor; process until fine crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs until well combined. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

CALORIES 423 (30% from fat); FAT 14.3g (sat 8.2g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 19.3g; CHOLESTEROL 46mg; CALCIUM 298mg; SODIUM 550mg; FIBER 2.1g; IRON 2.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 54.6g


Celia said...
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StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I really like this recipe. I hope you don't mind, but I linked to it in my latest post about baked ziti. :)

Helios said...

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy - Not at all. I checked out your blog - hope your family was happy with their baked ziti! :)

antique doorknob said...
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