Penne ai Quattro Formaggi (Four Cheeses)

30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 lb penne rigate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 oz fontina (grated or chopped into small cubes)
  • 4 oz mascarpone
  • 4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 4 oz. gorgonzola dolce (grated or chopped into small cubes)


  1. In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter into the heavy cream. Once the butter is melted, add the other cheeses and stir until they are melted together. Meanwhile, boil the water and cook the pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring until pasta is thoroughly coated. Serve, and sprinkle with parmigiano, salt and pepper to taste. Best to serve in warm bowls so the cheese sauce stays warm.

Ed's Review

This Sunday Pasta recipe is dedicated to Veronica.  We will call it "Veronica's favorite" and along with it we will wish her a very happy birthday!

I suppose this was the inspiration for Kraft Mac n' Cheese, which we all know they got terribly, terribly wrong (unless you like plastic cheese powder).  In the real maccheroni e formaggio, you can mix any cheeses you like, but in general, you should try to combine distinct cheeses. Gorganzola's strength combined with the subtle mascarpone,  for example. Fontina is a smooth favorite for everything from paninni to pasta.  On a pizza ai quattro formaggi, ricotta and mozzarella may be used. The pasta can be baked into a crusty-edged winter day's dish, or can be served on just-cooked pasta.  Try any pasta, but penne seems to be the standard.

Check out our About post that gives a brief history of this dish.

Buon Appetito.

Ed Garrubbo, Editor

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