Monday, August 17, 2009

Whole Wheat Rotini w/ 5 cheeses

I think I must be on a cheese kick. Either that, or I really don't want to waste the $30 in cheese I bought so it goes on everything. :)

Btw, quick side note. Those fresh saver containers that keep food fresher longer, yep, those work wonderfully. Especially w/ month old cheeses... I grated all of my expensive fresh cheeses and mixed them all together in one of those and they've lasted forever so far!

Anyways, I am constantly hearing how great Ina Garten's recipes are. Honestly, I watch her show, it's not like I feel about her like I feel about Semi-Homemade... But I've never really looked at something she's made and gone, OMG I HAVE TO EAT THAT NOW!!! Although I have looked at some stuff and gone, Hmmm.... that'd be good if I took that out, or added this or whatever.

Well, I was on the food network site the other day looking for another recipe for cheese. I found this and saw the bazillion raving reviews and thought, eh, why not?

So I have to say, not bad. I did make a few changes...

Whole Wheat Rotini with 5 cheeses
adapted from Penne with Five Cheeses by Ina Garten


  • Sea Salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parrano Uniekas Dutch cheese
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 smashed cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat rotini
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.

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

Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes (only!!!). Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.

Pour the prepared pasta mixture in a 13 X 9 glass or ceramic dish. Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, about 10 minutes.

Most of the sauce automatically dropped to the bottom of the casserole dish. It was very liquidy, not very thick at all. At least, not until it cooked. It had an awesome flavor, especially w/ the addition of the garlic and cayenne pepper. I like a little kick, but the cayenne didn't add any real heat to the dish, which was why I used it. When you dished it into the bowl, it wasn't as liquidy as before, it definitely thickened up enough to not had to worry about watery drops from your fork when you were moving it to your fork. :)

I used a whole wheat pasta here b/c (1) it's better for you, especially since you are using lots of cheese and heavy cream in this!!! and (2) I like the heartier texture and taste when you are eating it. I think it adds something to the pasta. Plus, it's super hard to overcook!!! You definitely have to cook it longer than regular pasta, but that's ok. The original recipe has this parboiling for only 4 minutes and I didn't change that b/c I left the pasta in the oven a bit longer since I put it in one large casserole dish rather than separate ramekins.
The pasta I have been using mostly is Ronzoni b/c it is super hearty and really fresh tasting, despite it being a boxed pasta. And a blend of 7 grains? So good! And it holds up awesomly to reheating the pasta the next day... and the next... and the next... Maybe I wouldn't have had to eat so much if my parents would have tried it! Wimps. I'm actually a little disappointed in my father who eats nearly everything. I told him to try some and it's not like he doesn't like my cooking. I know he does. Oh well...


Margarita said...

Looks good, cuz. Of course, didnt get to try it!

NikiTheo said...

Haha, you're right. I'm sorry. I'll bake you something instead. Or when I house sit, I'll make so much food, when you come home, you'll have all my leftovers :)

Liz said...

Looks delicious! I love me some baked pasta...and of course, cheese makes everything better!