3.5 13

Fusilli with Three Cheeses and Red Bell Pepper

Macaroni and cheese goes upscale with fontina, mozzarella, and Parmesan. This particular combination provides plenty of flavor and meltability, but don't limit yourself to our selection: Make your own trio from the cheeses you have on hand.

  • Servings: 4

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Ingredients

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

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How to make this recipe

  1. 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.
  2. Heat the broiler. Butter a large shallow baking dish.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook 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 sautéed bell peppers, the fontina, mozzarella, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and the black pepper.
  4. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan over the top. Broil until the top starts to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with additional Parmesan.

Notes

Browned and Bubbling
Cheese often turns stringy when tossed with hot pasta. Broiling the dish after tossing melts the strings into a smooth sauce. An added bonus: that irresistible brown crust.

Suggested Pairing

Creamy cheeses need a light red wine as a foil for their richness. A weighty Chianti Classico or Riserva would be overpowering here, but a basic Chianti, with its slight bitter-cherry flavor, will strike just the right balance.

Photo © Helene Dujardin Published January 2012

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