Rigatoni ai quattro Formaggi

Categories: Main Course, Recipes, West
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Published on: September 9, 2011
 

So after the disappointment of Bottelinos “Rigatoni con Formaggio”, I decided to try to see if I could go one better…

I had initially planned to use mascarpone cheese but I forgot it when doing the food shopping for the week!  I do this a lot, despite the fact that I have a list.  This is largely down to me buying the ingredients as I see them.  I have a rough idea what I want in the dish, I know how it should end up but the exact ingredients, I make up as I go along. In this case I used some very mild goats cheese as a substitute for mascarpone and I only had 50g of it left from when I used it earlier in the week.  If I had more or had I bought the mascarpone as planned I could have skipped adding the milk but it worked out fine in the end.  Most of the cheeses can be swapped for something else, I had to do the same for the parmesan as guess what?  I forgot that too!  I replaced it with padano.  I will revisit this recipe at some point, just to try out other cheeses.  Here is my take on:

 

Rigatoni ai quattro Formaggi

Ingredients (serves 4):

200g Dolce Gorgonzola

200g Pecorino + extra for sprinkling

75g Padano

50g Mild Goats Cheese

30g Unsalted Butter

Milk (to thin the sauce – if required)

200g Spinach

300g Smoked Back Bacon

300g Rigatoni (Dry)

1 teaspoon of ground Nutmeg

 

Method:

1. Cut the Bacon into lardons and heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan at a high heat.

2. Start to boil the water for the pasta, add your salt and plenty of it. Once it’s boiling, add in the pasta.

3. Once the frying pan is at a high heat (but before the oil smokes), throw in the bacon and cook until fairly crispy, add some pepper.

4. When the pasta is half-cooked and the bacon has some colour, start heating a small pan with the cubed butter in it at a medium heat. Don’t let the butter burn, once it is almost completely melted add in the bits of Gorgonzola and stir well. Add in your bits of Goats Cheese, add a little bit of milk if the sauce is looking too lumpy and sticky.

5. Now that the cheese sauce is looking quite creamy and free of lumps, reduce the heat a little and then add in the grated Pecorino and Padano, stir well again and ensure it does not boil.

6. The pasta should be al dente at this point and the bacon starting to crisp. Remove them both from the heat, drain the pasta and take the bacon out of the pan – leaving the oil.  Add plenty of pepper to the cheese sauce, add salt to taste.

7. Add the teaspoon of nutmeg to the cheese sauce and stir well.  Put the spinach in the frying pan using the oil from the bacon, once it has wilted it’s cooked.

8. Add the spinach and bacon to the pasta and pour over the hot cheese sauce.  Serve with a little grated Pecorino on top.

 

Tips:

This will amount of cheese will make a lot of sauce, you can reduce the quantities if you think it’s too much or you can use it to make a nice lunch the following day.  It reheats well, but doesn’t keep forever.  Alternatively you could scoff the lot, as it’s a great tasting sauce and goes well with the spinach.  I’m not a big fan of spinach or blue cheeses but this goes well together.

You could add some garlic in when cooking the bacon but I like the strong smokey taste of the bacon in this dish.

Use a good quality Dolce (sweet) Gorgonzola.  You really want the taste of it in mix of this sauce.



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