Cook's Illustrated Recipes»Casseroles»Italian»Pasta»Creamy Baked Four Cheese Pasta Recipe

Tired of greasy, heavy pasta casseroles with stringy cheese and mushy noodles? We set out to make a creamy casserole with great flavor, properly cooked pasta, and a crisp bread crumb topping.

The Problem

Pasta ai quattro formaggi, the classic Italian pasta dish made with four cheeses and heavy cream, often turns into an inedible mess.

The Goal

Deliver a pasta dinner that is silky smooth and rich but not heavy--a grown-up, sophisticated version of macaroni and cheese with Italian flavors.

The Solution

Use a mix of Italian Fontina, Gorgonzola, Pecorino Romano, and Parmesan--tasters' favorite combination of cheeses--for the best flavor and texture. Drain the pasta several minutes before it is al dente to keep it from turning to mush when baked. Combine the cheeses with the pasta and a béchamel sauce (a classic white sauce), top with bread crumbs and Parmesan, and bake just seven minutes at 500 degrees.