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Mains

Penne with five American cheeses

Penne with five American cheeses
Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

BACK in the last century, an Italian sommelier who became a friend spent a fair amount of time in my kitchen, much of it insisting that nearly every iconic American food was made not just first but better in the ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound penne or penne rigate
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese, preferably Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 cup fresh mascarpone
  • 4 ounces California goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Vella Dry Jack

Step 1Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil with salt (about 1 tablespoon for every 2 quarts of water). Add the penne, bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente, 11 minutes or according to the package directions.

Step 2Five minutes before the pasta is done, combine the blue cheese, Monterey Jack, mascarpone and goat cheese with the cream in a large saucepan over low heat. Heat, stirring, until the cheeses are melted. Stir in the cayenne.

Step 3When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander. Toss it with butter, then add it to the melted cheese. Stir until it is well coated. Season with pepper to taste and serve, sprinkled with the Vella Dry Jack.

Note: Mascarpone from Cantare Foods is widely available at supermarkets including Whole Foods, Gelsons, Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs. Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue cheese and Vella Dry Jack are available at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock, the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, the Cheese Store of Silver Lake and select Whole Foods markets.

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