I try not to use recipes from others, whether it be cookbooks or blogs. I prefer to generate my own original creations and share them with you. But sometimes, I’ll be innocently scrolling through Pinterest, flipping through Food Network Magazine, or hopping from blog to blog, and I’ll come across a recipe so enticing that it grabs hold of my brain. It becomes all-consuming, haunting my every waking thought and shouting, “Make me! Make me!”
So when I saw this 4-Cheese Baked Skillet Rigatoni on How Sweet Eats, I was essentially hypnotized. This is a blog I read daily, and I have complex feelings about it. Jessica churns out the most creative, mouth-watering masterpieces, which I absolutely love. However, I must admit I’m bitterly jealous about it! Her recipe for this cheesy baked pasta took full control over my thoughts. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t shake the thought of this recipe. So I gave in and made the pasta-packed skillet for dinner one night.
Oh. My. God.
Everyone, say hello to my new favorite mac & cheese. I have found true love, and if they would only legalize marriage to mac and cheese, then I would have my soul mate. With fontina, gruyere, and white cheddar, this skillet is bursting with cheesy bliss. Plus, the fourth cheesy component, mascarpone cheese, adds undeniable creaminess. It is so rich, so cheesy, so pleasureful. I couldn’t even speak after my first forkful. I was went into a pasta-induced, trance-like state. Goodbye real world; hello 4-cheese baked euphoria.
Seriously though, why do people bother doing drugs when they could eat 4-Cheese Baked Skillet Rigatoni instead?
I also love how flavorful these cheesy riggies are. Some people think cheese sauce pasta means merely that: cheese + pasta. But this skillet yields the flavor powers of both garlic and shallots. Between that and the four kinds of cheese, all of your taste buds will be pleased.
Why are we still taking about this? Why aren’t you making it yet?
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Don’t overbake or you will dry out the sauce.
- Make sure your pasta is cooked al dente so it doesn’t turn limp when you bake it.
- I omitted the nutmeg because I’m really not a fan of it in savory dishes, but feel free to include it in yours. I also added more cheese because my sauce needed a little more cheesy flavor for my tastes.
- Prepare this dish ahead of time then bake when you’re ready to eat.
- The leftovers are practically just as good. I should know…I ate all of them.
- Use whole wheat or whole grain pasta to grab some extra health benefits.
- If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, never fear! You can just cook the pasta in a baking dish instead.
- I found my skillet wasn’t quite big enough to mix the pasta together with the sauce, so I transferred it to another pot to combine then put it back in the skillet to bake.
4-Cheese Baked Skillet Rigatoni
Slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated white cheddar cheese
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated fontina cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine cheeses in a large bowl, reserving a 1/2 cup for topping. Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions, cooking for 3-4 minutes less than called-for time.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in olive oil and butter, then throw in shallots with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add flour to the skillet then whisk constantly to create a roux. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Pour in milk, whisking continuously for another 1-2 minutes. Whisk in mascarpone and all of the cheese, except for the reserved 1/2 cup. Stir continuously until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then tasted and season more if desired. Add pasta to the skillet and stir to coat.
- Sprinkle the top of the mixture with remaining cheeses and breadcrumbs. Bake covered for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.