Chef of the Evening

Dino Amico credits his mom for this version of Venetian Mac and Cheese served at a recent Mini-Tasting.

“My passion is to cook for crowds and that is usually weekends; I like to heighten our experience with wine and food and put a satisfying feeling in our bellies,” Dino says. “In the end, I just want all guests to be happy and joyful.”

Dino likes to mix up the cheeses to provide different flavors to the traditional all-Italian, so he’ll venture into German or American cheese flavors.

Venetian Mac and Cheese


12 oz. wide egg noodles

2 1/2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

2 tsp. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup (packed) grated fontina cheese

3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup (grated) mozzarella cheese

4 oz. cooked boiled ham, diced (optional)

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


PREHEAT oven to 450 degrees. Butter 9”x13”x2” glass baking dish.

COOK noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Drain well (do not rinse).

WHISK milk, cream, flour, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend.

STIR the in 1 cup of the fontina, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the ham and parsley.

ADD the noodles and toss to coat. Transfer noodle mixture to prepared baking dish.

COMBINE remaining 1 cup of fontina, ¼ cup of Parmesan and ¼ cup of mozzarella in small bowl; toss to blend.

SPRINKLE cheese mixture over noodle mixture.

BAKE until sauce bubbles and cheese melts and begins to brown on top, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Congratulations to all of the winners and a big thank you to the hosts. Please send your recipes to George Cravens at for possible publication on the OCWS website.