Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Creamy Gorgonzola Pasta

The strangest thing happened this week. We were having a couple over for dinner that I really like and I mentioned that we would be cooking vegetarian.  The wife paused and told me she wasn't sure how that would go because they prefer meat. Then she listed off all the vegetables and soy products that they hate, none of which I was going to cook except maybe roasted cualiflower, but no big deal. Then, the day before she sent me a text inviting us out to dinner on the same night I was cooking for them with a larger group of I being paranoid? Was it the vegetarian menu that drove them away? We love eating out so switching to a restaurant was not a problem.  I had bought groceries but I hadn't done much prep. I wanted to cook vegetarian for them just to show them that it can be a good meal. Oh well, next time.
I was going to make this creamy gorgonzola pasta that is very satisfying for them, instead I made it a day later for other friends who also aren't vegetarian and they loved it. I found this years ago on the Splendid Table. That's a great site for recipes and food info if you're ever desperately looking for something new to cook.

Creamy Gorgonzola Pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots finely chopped
1 large pinch of hot pepper flakes
Black pepper
1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup tightly packed chopped basil, don't skimp
1 generous tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped and drained
1 cup cream
1/3 generous cup of crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
pepper and salt to taste
3/4 pound pasta, we like large shells

1. Heat olive oil in large saute pan over med high heat. Add hot pepper flakes, black pepper and shallots and saute for about 3 minutes. The shallots should soften and start to become translucent.  Adjust heat to prevent browning. Add minced garlic and the basil and saute for about a minute. Then add the tomato paste and saute for another 30 seconds, or so. Then pour in the wine and simmer till it's reduced to nothing. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer uncovered over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. (can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

2. Boil salted pasta water and cook pasta for 8-10 minutes depending on which pasta you choose. Remember, the noodle should have a little bite to it...don't over cook. Drain the pasta when done.

3. Bring sauce to a simmer while pasta is cooking. Stip in 1/2 cup of the cream and simmer for a minute. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper.

4. Add pasta and remaining 1/2 cup cream to the sauce stirring over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Gently stir in the gorgonzola until just combined and cheese is melting.Serve hot!

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter.


Mona said...

that looks so good. i love cheesy and creamy pasta. and with gorgonzola.. heaven!

megan said...

I made this pasta last night with milk instead of cream, and a creamier gorgonzola cheese. it was unbelievably decadent and delicious! Thanks!