Creamy, chees-y ziti al forno baked in the oven until delicious golden crust?
Combination of these 5 cheeses has been chosen carefully to let all the flavors flow together without one completely covering the other.
Of course you can experiment and make your own variations.
For example, substitute Ricotta for Mozzarella to make the cheese sauce less “gooey” or use a mix of Pecorino and Parmesan cheese to give your ziti a little extra tang.
Swiss cheese can be substituted for Emental, which IS, in fact, Swiss 🙂
The cornerstone cheeses though that I don’t recommend omitting or substituting are Gorgonzola and Fontina.
Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno
- Cook pasta according to the directions on the package.
NOTE: you can cook ziti halfway done. In this case use a bit more milk for the cheese sauce, so that pasta can continue cooking in the oven.
- If you’re using long ziti break them in half to fit in the pot.
- In the meantime prepare the five-cheese sauce.
- In a pot add milk, fontina, emental, gorgonzola cheese cut in cubes, also ½ of the quality of shredded mozzarella and ½ of grated parmesan cheese.
- Set on very low heat and simmer for a few minutes until all cheese is melted. Stir continuously.
- Grease a large casserole with butter.
- Drain ziti and layer half of the quantity in the casserole. Cover with ⅓ of melted cheese sauce.
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
- Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Place the second layer of ziti and repeat the process. Cover with cheese sauce, then breadcrumbs, then remaining cheese.
- Bake in a preheated to 375F oven for about 15-20 minutes until a light golden brown crust on the top.
Now isn’t that the ultimate comfort food there is!?