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Dining Tip: Comforting Cheese Casserole

Carb-loading with this Italian cheese, bread and onion "soup" is probably the best way to get through the winter
Yep, that's a half-pound of Fontina cheese.
Photo by: Linda Xiao
Yep, that's a half-pound of Fontina cheese.

Posted: January 14, 2019

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the Nov. 30, 2018, issue of Wine Spectator, "Southern Rhône."

Recipe courtesy of the Vallet creamery in Donnas, Italy

Zuppa Valdostana: Fontina "Soup"

• 8 thick slices stale (or lightly toasted) peasant-style bread
• 1/2 pound Fontina Val d'Aosta, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 stick butter
• 2 quarts homemade chicken and/or beef broth
• 1/2 cup (loosely packed) chopped Italian parsley leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

2. Sauté the chopped onion over medium heat in the butter until soft and barely transparent, about 10 minutes.

3. Line the bottom of a 13-inch-by-9-inch ovenproof baking pan with bread slices. Layer sliced Fontina and sautéed onions on top of the bread. Repeat one or two more layers until the pan is full.

4. Pour the broth into the pan until the bread layers are moderately soaked. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the top is browned and all the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Serve hot on plates or in shallow bowls, garnished with chopped Italian parsley. Serves 8.

Pair with a lighter style of Nebbiolo like Donnas Picotendro, Gattinara, Carema or Nebbiolo d'Alba, or a Rosso di Montalcino.

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