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Macaroni and Cheese (Maccheroni al Formaggio)


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  • 3 cups grated fontina
  • 5 cups grated cheddar
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 (3 — 4-inch) piece day-old Italian bread
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 2 cups grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 4 large fresh sage leaves
  • 1 lb. Lidia's penne


Servings 6
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta. In a large bowl, combine fontina and cheddar. Pour milk over the cheeses and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour, until the cheese begins to break down and dissolve into the milk.

Grate bread on the coarse holes of a box grater to get about 1-1/2 cups coarse crumbs. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. When butter is melted, add breadcrumbs. Stir and toss the crumbs until crisp and toasted, about 3 minutes. Scrape crumbs into a bowl and let cool. Butter a large baking dish and coat the bottom and sides with a thin layer of some of the crumbs. Stir 1 cup of the grated Grana or Parmigiano into remaining crumbs.

Pour cheese and milk mixture into a pot and add the sage leaves. Whisk over medium-low heat until cheese melts, about 7 — 8 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup grated Grana or Parmigiano. Meanwhile, add penne to boiling water. Cook until very al dente (3 or 4 minutes shy of package cooking time) and drain. Return pasta to pot. Add cheese sauce and stir until all of the pasta is coated with the sauce. Scrape pasta into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake until browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serves 6 — 8.

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