Valley Fig Growers

Creamy Baked Four-Cheese and California Figs Pasta

Serves 4- 6 as main course, 6-8 as a side.


Bread Crumb Topping 

3–4 slices white sandwich bread with crusts, torn into quarters 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 ounce) 

1/4 teaspoon table salt 

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 

Pasta and Cheese 

4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (about 1 cup) 

3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup) 

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (1 ounce) 

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 ounce) 

1 cup chopped Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs (about 6 ounces) 

1 pound penne pasta 

1 tablespoon table salt 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour 

1 1/2 cups heavy cream 

1/4 teaspoon table salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper  


  1. FOR THE TOPPING: Pulse bread in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Transfer to small bowl; stir in Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Set mixture aside.
  2. FOR THE PASTA: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot. Combine cheeses and figs in large bowl; set aside. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water; stir to separate pasta. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat; whisk flour into butter until no lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in cream, increase heat to medium, and bring to boil, -stirring occasionally; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 minute to ensure that flour cooks. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; cover cream mixture to keep hot and set aside. When pasta is very al dente (when bitten into, pasta should be opaque and slightly underdone at very center), drain about 5 seconds, leaving pasta slightly wet. Add pasta to bowl with cheeses and figs; immediately pour cream mixture over, then cover bowl with foil or large plate and let stand 3 minutes. Uncover bowl and stir with rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl, until cheeses are melted and mixture is thoroughly combined. 
  4. Transfer pasta to 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then sprinkle evenly with reserved bread crumbs, pressing down lightly. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Recipe credit: America’s Test Kitchen.

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Nutrition Information

amount per serving

  • Calories 797
  • % Calories from Fat 46%
  • Fat 41
  • Cholesterol 136
  • Protein 24
  • Carbohydrates 83
  • Fiber 5
  • Iron 2
  • Sodium 1059
  • Calcium 391
  • Potassium 249