Baked Four-Cheese Pasta With Tomatoes and Basil

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins

A great dish to serve as a side dish, or add a salad you have have a great meal! Recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For the topping:.
  2. Pulse bread in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups).
  3. Transfer to small bowl; stir in Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  4. Set mixture aside.
  5. For the pasta:.
  6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  7. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot.
  8. Combine cheeses in large bowl; set aside.
  9. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water; stir to separate pasta.
  10. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk flour into butter until no lumps remain, about 30 seconds.
  11. Gradually whisk in cream, add tomatoes, and increase heat to medium, and bring to boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 minute to ensure that flour cooks.
  12. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; cover cream mixture to keep hot and set aside.
  13. When pasta is very al dente (when bitten into, pasta should be opaque and slightly underdone at very center), drain about 5 seconds, leaving pasta slightly wet.
  14. Add pasta to bowl with cheeses; immediately pour cream mixture over, then cover bowl with foil or large plate and let stand 3 minutes.
  15. Uncover bowl and stir with rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl, until cheeses are melted and mixture is thoroughly combined. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.
  16. Transfer pasta to 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then sprinkle evenly with reserved bread crumbs, pressing down lightly.
  17. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 7 minutes.
  18. Serve immediately.


Most Helpful

I know it took me longer than 10 minutes to prepare this dish, but that's not a complaint, just an observation, 'cause the results are SOOO SATISFYING! Definitely not something I'd make often because of the calories, fat & sodium, but still . . . With the exception of leaving out the salt as an ingredient, I followed the recipe! NOTE: I did make but half a recipe & still had 6 servings that went well with a lite salad & a fresh fruit dessert! [Made & reviewed in the Family Picks part of the Zaar World Tour 4]

Sydney Mike July 04, 2008

What's not to love about this recipe?! It has everything a pasta and cheese lover would adore. This is a fantastic pasta dish that I will make again and again. I also loved the bread crumb topping. Very filling! Thanks for sharing.

Lainey6605 September 05, 2008

Very rich and creamy, lovely pasta dish, especially for us being in winter now! I followed the instructions exactly, and liked how letting the mixture stand in the bowl, helped everything melt together smoothly before mixing and baking it. That wouldn't have occurred to me previously. Easy to put-together when I came home from work, I served it with fresh garden peas. Thanks, GW!

Karen Elizabeth July 14, 2008

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