Farfalle and fontina

February 18, 2009

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Serves 6

This bubbly crock of bow ties bathed in velvety fontina and sealed with cheddar and buttered Ritz cracker crumbs has always been a top-seller at Jamaica Plain's hip Zon's. At the restaurant, the dish is made with roasted garlic and plenty of whole-grain mustard. "The seeds add some crunch and snap, if you will," explains executive chef Clifton Clark. To help you get the dish from pot to table without delay, this version omits the roasted garlic.

Olive oil (for the dish)
1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers, crumbled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 pound fontina, shredded
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound sharp cheddar, shredded
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a small bowl combine the crackers, melted butter, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; set aside.

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite tender (it will cook more later). Drain into a colander; shake well. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the olive oil; set aside.

4. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt the 1 tablespoon of butter. Slowly whisk in the flour. Continue to cook for 1 minute or until lightly colored. Gradually whisk in the cream and milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

5. Stir in the mustard and remove from the heat. Fold in the pasta, fontina, and Worcestershire. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle with cheddar and the cracker mixture.

6. Bake the pasta for 25 minutes or until the top is brown and the dish is bubbling at the edges. Adapted from Zon's