Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fusilli with Three Cheeses and Red Bell Pepper

I fell back on a pasta favorite for tonight's dinner which is one of those very simple recipes with very few ingredients and yet is perfectly delicious. This is an upscale macaroni and cheese dish with fontina, mozzarella and Parmesan which is a great combination of flavor and melts beautifully.

While I was bringing the water to the boil for the pasta, I worked on slicing a couple of red bell peppers and grating the fontina cheese, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.

While the pasta was cooking, I sauteed the red pepper slices in a little butter until very tender in my cast iron skillet. Once the pasta was cooked, it went back in to the hot pasta pot along with the sauteed red pepper slices, more butter, the grated fontina, mozzarella and half of the grated Parmesan. The entire mixture went into the cast iron skillet and topped with the remaining Parmesan before going under the broiler for a few minutes.

This dish is absolutely delicious simplicity.

Fusilli with Three Cheese and Red Bell Pepper (Serves 4)

4 tablespoons butter
2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 lb. fusilli
1/4 lb. fontina, grated, (about 1 cup)
3 ounces mozzarella, grated (about 3/4 cup)
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium frying pan, melt one tablespoon of the butter over moderately low heat. Add the bell peppers and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Heat the broiler. Butter a large shallow baking dish.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cok the fusilli until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain and return to the hot pot. Toss the pasta with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 3/4 teaspoon salt, the sauteed bell peppers, the fontina, mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan and the black pepper.

Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. Broil until the top starts to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with additional Parmesan.

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