Baked Four-Cheese Pasta With Tomatoes and Basil

Recipe by Galley Wench
READY IN: 35mins




  • For the topping:
  • Pulse bread in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups).
  • Transfer to small bowl; stir in Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  • Set mixture aside.
  • For the pasta:
  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  • Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot.
  • Combine cheeses in large bowl; set aside.
  • Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water; stir to separate pasta.
  • While pasta is cooking, melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk flour into butter until no lumps remain, about 30 seconds.
  • 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.
  • Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; cover cream mixture to keep hot and set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add pasta to bowl with cheeses; immediately pour cream mixture over, then cover bowl with foil or large plate and let stand 3 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Transfer pasta to 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then sprinkle evenly with reserved bread crumbs, pressing down lightly.
  • Bake until topping is golden brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.