Archive for July, 2010

Fonduta!

July 2, 2010

I have this great cookbook that a friend I had for a short time gave me as a gift. I have tried many of the recipes in it and I haven’t found one that has turned out bad yet. It has great appetizers and soups and pasta dishes and it is as the title promises, quick from scratch Italian. Two of my favorites that I make quite often are the gorgonzola fettucine and the Sicilian meatball stew. The other night I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner and looking at the plethora of zucchini I had on my counter, thanks to my personal produce aisle in my back yard. I remembered seeing two great zucchini recipes in my book, one for a grilled zucchini style caprese, to change it up by using zucchini instead of tomato, and the other was for a zucchini fonduta. I was not sure what the heck fonduta meant. But after making it and listening to the pronounciation as I say it in my Giada Italian accent, I realize it is just the italian way of saying Fondue. In my cookbook they call this a divine rendition of mac and cheese.

The recipe is as follows:

Fusilli with Zucchini and Fonduta

3/4 lb fontina cheese grated, about 3 cups

1 1/4 cups milk

3 egg yolks

3 Tbs butter cut into pieces, at room temp

1 1/4 t salt

1/2 t fresh black pepper

1 lb fusilli pasta

4 zucchini cut into 1/4 by 2 inch strips

In a heatproof bowl combine the cheese and the milk. Let sit for about 20 mins and drain off milk, reserving 1/4 cup. Set the bowl with the cheese over a saucepan of barely boiling water or transfer the cheese to a top of a double boiler. Whisk until the cheese melts (about 5 mins). In a separate bowl whisk together reserved milk with egg and butter. Add to the melted cheese over the boiler (make sure the water is just barely simmering, not too high). The mixture will separate. Whisk until the sauce is almost smooth and add the salt and pepper, it will take about 3-4 mins. Do not cook too long or over too high heat or the mixture will curdle, it is ok, the sauce will not be completely smooth. Meanwhile in a pot of salted boiling water cook fusilli for 10 mins and add zucchini and bring back to a boil. Cook for about 3 mins till the pasta and zucchini are done. Drain and toss with fonduta and enjoy!

It was a fairly easy recipe but it did seem at first that the cheese sauce was not going to come together. I just have to say, have faith and keep whisking and it will meld together, even if it does not look like it at first. Also take it off the double boiler once it does come together so it does not curdle. It is ready once it looks like a typical fondue. If you don’t like fontina it would work with romano or parmesan or asiago. You can also use another kind of pasta if you prefer, just time the cooking of the pasta with the zucchini so both are crisp and not mushy. If you want a fast and easy dish that is tasty and simple in its ingredients, then try this dish. After your sauce comes together you have to promise me to shout FONDUTA in a really cheesy Italian accent…