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Fusilli with Three Cheeses and Red Bell Pepper

  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST
  • VEGETARIAN

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.

  1. 4 tablespoons butter
  2. 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 3/4 pound fusilli
  5. 1/4 pound fontina, grated (about 1 cup)
  6. 3 ounces mozzarella, grated (about 3/4 cup)
  7. 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  8. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  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.