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      RECIPE TITLE "FARFALLE AL QUATTRO FORMAGGI" from Macaroni & Cheese Copyright © 2001 by Joan Schwartz.

    yieldsMakes 3-4 servingstime--- difficultyeasy

    This mixture of flavorful Italian cheeses -- creamy, soft robiola, pungent Taleggio, and rich, nutty fontina -- stirred into an oniony béchamel is a winner from Don Pintabona, the chef of New York's Tribeca Grill. The buttery topping adds an extra kick of Gorgonzola. Absolutely irresistible!

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    • 1 pound farfalle (or baby shells, orecchiette, mezza rigatoni)
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 6 tablespoons butter, plus extra for the baking dish
    • 1 medium onion, minced (about 11/4 cup)
    • 3 tablespoons flour
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) aged robiola cheese, broken into small pieces
    • 1 cup (1/4 pound) fontina cheese, broken into small pieces
    • 1 cup (1/4 pound) Taleggio cheese, broken into small pieces
    • Fresh-cracked black pepper (see Note)
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
    • 1/3 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs

      RECIPE METHOD

    1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the pasta until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    3. In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the milk to a scald.
    4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and cook the onion until soft and fragrant, but not colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the flour, and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the scalded milk, raise the heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened and smooth, with chunks of onion.
    5. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the robiola, fontina, and Taleggio, in batches, until the cheeses are incorporated (they need not melt entirely). Add the pasta and stir well to combine. Season with black pepper.
    6. Butter a 4-quart shallow flameproof baking dish and add the pasta. Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola and the breadcrumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake on the middle shelf until bubbling, about 25 minutes.
    7. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to broil. Place on the top shelf, about 4 inches from the flame, and broil until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

    Note: For cracked black pepper, wrap peppercorns in a dish towel and smash them with a heavy pan.


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