Seriously, everyone (non-vegans that is) needs to learn how to make this. It's ooey. It's gooey. It's filling and it's yummy. Oh, and it's very easy to make. I got the recipe from a book titled "Cook Something" by Mitchell Davis. It tries to be a little too Gen X (it was written in 1997) but there are some good, tasty, easty recipes in there. One of the gem in there is Cheese Thing.
I have found, from personal experience, that it is best to bake individual servings in an oven-proof, single serving bowl, rather than baking the entire thing and reheating the left over. It yields 6 servings and the left overs (if already baked) aren't as good. The cheese doesn't melt as well the second time around. If you do have to reheat it, I definitely recommend doing it in a pot on a stove and not the microwave.
Oh, and the truffle oil is purely optional but truffle oil is so fantastic.
Seriously, everyone needs to know how to make this dish.
1 lb penne rigatte or similar tubular pasta
1/2 lb extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 lb mild cheddar cheese
1 (28oz can) whole, peeled tomatoes w/ juice
1/3 to 1/2 a stick of butter- depending on how much you like butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
truffle oil (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 min. Meanwhile, cut both cheeses into small cubes. Leave tomatoes in their juices and cut them into bite size pieces.
When pasta is done, drain and return to pot. Add the butter and stir until almost melted. Add the cheese, tomatoes, sugar, and salt and stir well. Pour mixture into a 2 quart baking dish- glass or ceramic is best. Drizzle some truffle oil. For optimal results, cheese thing should sit for 12-24 hours before baking, but can be baked right away.
Preheat oven to 400F. Bake until it's bubbly and the noodles poking out of the top have browned considerably (about 1 hour if cooking the entire thing).