Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 minute thursday's: 5 cheese penne {freezer stock!!}

Well, hellooo there!!

I missed Tuesday randomness this week...honestly I looked at my instagram and realized I didn't take that many shots this past I'll do a double round up next week.

But now it's Thursday, so let's talk recipes and quick weeknight cooking.

I decided after getting some feedback from you lovelies on instagram that once a month {or so} I'll post in this series something that can be made in a huge batch, fairly quickly and frozen to be enjoyed on crazy week nights when you just want to throw something in the oven.  Today is the first of those...

This is a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.  She is my favorite.  Of all time. 

It is a 5 cheese pasta, par boiled, then divided into single serve ramekins, and easily frozen.  The ingredient list below is for a double batch, which will get you about 12 main course servings.

Ready?  Here is what you'll need:

:: Kosher salt
:: 4 cups heavy cream
:: 2 cups crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
:: 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (about 3 oz)
:: 1 cup shredded Italian Fontina (about 3 oz)
:: 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (about 6 oz)
:: 4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
:: 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
:: 12 fresh basil leaves chopped
:: 2 lbs penne pasta
:: 1 stick of butter

(You can also add 1 cup of freshly grated Parmegiano Regiano if you have it on hand)

1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

3. Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well.

4. Drop the penne into the boiling water and par boil for 4 minutes.  Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.

5. Divide the pasta mixture among 12 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 - 2 cup capacity).  Dot with butter and bake until brown on top, 7 top 10 minutes.


{ramekins all dotted with butter and ready to bake...or freeze}

Note: For the servings that you are freezing, simply add the lid to the ramekin and place in freezer. These will last in the freezer 4-6 weeks, although not really because when you know they are in there, you tend to eat them all up.

I bought my gratin dishes at Wal-Mart.  They were the corningware brand and had a snug fitting rubber lid, which makes it super easy.

To warm up the pasta straight out of the freezer, cook at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. 

You can serve solo, or if you want to pair the pasta, my favorites are:
*green salad and crusty French bread
*artisan soup from the deli section of the market {especially a butternut squash if you can find it}
*rotisserie chicken from the deli section of the market


Don't forget to come back tomorrow...big, BIG announcement!


  1. Here 3 of the best I know for a side dish
    Penne with butter, grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper
    Penne with melted cheddar cheese
    Penne with pesto.

    Andrea Anders!


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