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May 8, 2013 05:25 PM

New to Fontina - favorite uses or varieties?

Of course I tried a new cheese at Whole Foods and fell in love, this time it's Fontina! My initial adventure was a white pizza with mushrooms, onions an asparagus. I think it probably would also be good in an omelet as well. Do you have any favorite uses or varieties? Is it usually a younger cheese or are there aged versions?

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  1. I use it in our "standard" mac n cheese recipe - about 1 C fontina, 1 1/4 C sharp cheddar, and 1/4 (or more) C shredded Parmesan or Romano. The original recipe is Cooking Light's 4-Cheese Mac N Cheese, but I don't use the Velveeta...

    Leftover fontina, if there is any, is good in a grilled cheese sandwich.

    1. Italian Fontina or imitation fontina?

      7 Replies
        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Good, the real thing.

          It has wonderful melting properties. Easy use is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, just use a thin slice of prosciutto, plenty of flavor in small volume.

          A classic recipe is fonduta.

          But don't try this with imitators, I'm told you'll end up with a stringy mess.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Great, thanks. I think I'll test it out in eggs tonight and then SO has grilled cheese on the mind. Do you find it's flavor gets muddled when mixed with others. We were pondering a mix of Fontina and Raclette. It really is a wonderful cheese.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              The classic mix is with Gruyere. But knowing how you feel about Swiss-type cheeses, I dunno.

              I'd be a little concerned that Raclette might be too strong. But try it and let us know!

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                OK, thanks. I actually enjoy the Raclette so I think I'm just a cheese-head all around.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I enjoy Raclette too. I meant that it might be too strong a partner for the more subtle Fontina.

      1. My favorite use for Fontina is in a baked penne mushroom Bolognese dish I've been making for years. It calls for several types of mushrooms, including dried porcinis, along with some grated Asiago cheese. Delicious!

        As stated earlier... Fontina makes wonderful grilled cheese or panini sandwiches.

        3 Replies
          1. re: melpy

            I saw Bobby Flay cook this many years ago at Christmas time. It was being "pushed" as a great vegetarian main dish to serve during the Holidays. It is very tasty!!!

            Baked Penne with Mushroom Bolognese

            1 oz dried porcinis
            2 tblsp EVOO
            1 large onion, finely chopped
            4 cloves garlic, finely minced
            2-3 lbs mushrooms (ports, crimini, shitake, button) chopped
            3 cups veggie stock, or low sodium canned stock
            3 plum tomatoes, diced
            1 cup heavy cream
            1 tblsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
            3 tbslp parsley, chopped
            1 1/2 lb penne, cooked all dente
            1 lb fontina cheese, cut into small cubes
            1 cup asiago cheese, grated

            Preheat oven to 375*. Reconstitute porcinis (if using). Saute onions and garlic. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until all of their liquid has evaporated.

            Add stock and diced tomatoes to the mushrooms, and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and thyme and parsley. Cook two minutes longer.

            Place 1 cup of mushroom sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Place half the penne over the sauce and top with 2 cups of the mushroom sauce.

            Sprinkle half of the fontina and asiago over the sauce. Top with remaining penne, then remaining sauce, and cheese.

            Bake at 375* for 25-30 minutes. (Until cheese has melted and is bubbling.) Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

            This dish is very forgiving. I've halved the quantities, and used other cheeses and different type pasta shapes.

        1. You can make an Italian tartiflette.
          Cook chunked potates with onions till both cooked and put in casserole dish, top with fontina and bake 10-15 till very gooey and browned on top.

          1. I put it on top of a chicken breast, with mushrooms, onions, and marinara.