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New to Fontina - favorite uses or varieties?

fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 05:25 PM

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. t
    truman May 9, 2013 10:52 AM

    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. Melanie Wong May 9, 2013 03:33 PM

      Italian Fontina or imitation fontina?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong
        fldhkybnva May 9, 2013 03:41 PM

        It's Fontina Val D'Aosta.

        1. re: fldhkybnva
          Melanie Wong May 10, 2013 02:03 PM

          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
            fldhkybnva May 10, 2013 04:10 PM

            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
              Melanie Wong May 10, 2013 04:27 PM

              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
                fldhkybnva May 10, 2013 04:36 PM

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

                1. re: fldhkybnva
                  Melanie Wong May 10, 2013 05:59 PM

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

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    fldhkybnva May 10, 2013 06:10 PM

                    Ah, right, thanks!

      2. p
        Phoebe May 10, 2013 03:49 PM

        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: Phoebe
          melpy May 11, 2013 06:33 AM

          I would live that recipe!

          1. re: melpy
            Phoebe May 16, 2013 08:58 AM

            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. re: Phoebe
              fldhkybnva May 16, 2013 09:03 AM

              Perfect, thanks for the recipe!

        2. Delucacheesemonger May 11, 2013 03:42 AM

          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. g
            GH1618 May 11, 2013 06:43 AM

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

            1. Paprikaboy May 11, 2013 06:54 AM

              I made this chard and Fontina with tagliatelle recipe the other day. It was very tasty.


              1. prima May 13, 2013 01:23 PM

                I had a fontina, asparagus, mushroom and bacon scramble for brunch last Friday. Very tasty!

                1. o
                  OhioHound May 13, 2013 01:34 PM

                  I don't mean to derail this thread, and I hope to help fldhkybnva in the process, but fellow Chowhounders.. which cheese would you use in the following baked pasta recipe?
                  It calls for either Fontina or Mozz.. I've never tried Fontina and am wondering what either one would add or detract from the dish. Thanks!


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: OhioHound
                    fldhkybnva May 13, 2013 02:41 PM

                    I am not a mozzarella fan at all and I would use Fontina since to me it has much more flavor than mozzarella.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      OhioHound May 13, 2013 02:50 PM

                      Great. I think I'll give it a go, and will report back!
                      Doubling the previously mentioned recipe for a crowd this Saturday, and serving with a vegetarian option as well-- Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables by Giada (recipe below). The latter recipe includes Fontina as well.


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