Monday, February 28, 2011

Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggi

“Ho studiato l’italiano per quattro anni.” Or, “Mi piace mangiare la torta,” that’s all I remember from Italian class. ~Which translates to, I studied Italian for four years, and I like to eat cake. I wouldn’t be able to find myself a bathroom in Italy, but I could find cake. ~he hee. And if you speak Italian, please don’t check my grammar. Ok, food.

This is another recipe from the Pioneer Woman, I love her!! I changed it up a little bit, using spinach pasta, and throwing in some KALE! Thanks to myzenpulse.com, it’s now one of my new favorite vegetables, my picky husband even said he liked it better than spinach! What?? Did he notice it’s GREEN? And…. HEALTHY??? To further cancel out some calories on this creamy comfort, I served it with more cooked kale, and baked chicken, seasoned with lavender and rosemary. Mmmmm, I want seconds. Hope you enjoy my new favorite macaroni and cheese for grown-ups!

A note about the garlic. My aunt once taught me ~ the smaller the food is, the more the flavor will disperse. I have problems leaving my onions, celery, and carrots the size of my eyeball. SO, I am now in love with the garlic press! As my mother and aunt can attest, I hate gadgets! But the garlic press is not a gadget, it’s now a kitchen necessity. No more peeling garlic, no more mincing and mincing and quickly chopping moving fingers. Place your cloves straight into the press, and SQUEEZE! Garlic finely minced – and flavor dispersed.

I also made some cheesy garlic bread along with this to use up those little bits of cheese leftover. Broil real sourdough slices until toasted. Paint slices with melted butter and more garlic sent through the press. sprinkle some cheese and toast again. YUM. Make sure to toast long enough to mellow out that fresh garlic, it will be pretty spicy otherwise.

~Peace, Love, and 4 Types of Cheese Ya’ll!

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Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggi

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta, I used spinach artichoke, made in Texas
½ cups Grated Fontina Cheese
½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cups Grated Romano Cheese
½ cups Goat Cheese (chevre)
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
1 cup cream, half/half, or whole milk
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed through the garlic press, or minced
½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Minced Fresh Parsley to garnish! (but who has time to garnish? Just EAT it!)

Directions:

Boil pasta according to package directions in water with a little salt, remember, al dente. (which literally means "to the tooth" - it should have a bite to it, not squishy) My local pasta only cooked for 3 minutes! Pretty fresh! Drain pasta, then return to the cooking pot. Pour in cream, add butter, and add cheeses and salt and pepper. Stir gently to combine, adding hot pasta water as needed for consistency. Don’t overmix; if there are little clumps of cheese here and there, it’s fine! Also add your minced garlic and a few pieces of sauteed spinach or cooked kale. Taste and add more salt if needed. Mixing stage should happen very quickly.

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