January 28, 2005

Gorgonzola Penne

Gorgonzola Sauce
from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

1/4 pound gorgonzola at room temperature
1/3 cup milk
3 TBSP butter
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 pounds pasta
1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

Choose flameproof serving ware that can subsequently accomodate all the pasta. Combine gorgonzola, milk, butter and salt over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon, mashing the cheese and incorporating it with the milk and butter. Cook until sauce has a dense, creamy consistency. Take off the heat until you are nearly ready to drain the pasta.

Just before draining the pasta, add the heavy cream to the sauce and stir over medium-low heat until thickened. Add the cooked drained pasta and toss. Add the grated cheese and toss until melted. Serve immediately from the pan with additional grated cheese on the side.

Serves 6.

Notes: This really did turn out rather yummy, but if you compare what I've written above with what is actually written in the cookbook, you'll see I took some liberties in approach. I was once again reminded that I'm not pleased with how this cookbook is written. The language isn't always clear (for instance, she says you reduce the sauce, not that you thicken it, but over medium-low heat it's not really going to do much in the way of reduction). Her instructions were also very particular about the gorgonzola, especially in the type (which I didn't really have much choice about) and in not using it cold (which was helpful). Since I was cooking for two, I only made about 1/3 pound of pasta (I used penne) and didn't end up with much extra sauce (perhaps I'm too generous, but I would have felt I was stretching the sauce with almost 4 times the pasta).

Served with rosemary olive oil bread and my roasted tomatoes (with cheese and oregano). Parker Station Pinot Noir 2003 was the accompanying wine, medium-bodied with a smooth texture; a bit fruity on the palate with a hint of something sharp and spicy in the finish. By my estimation, a pleasant but not challenging beverage.

Posted by Jennifer at January 28, 2005 9:39 AM

The dinner was indeed very tasty, and I think I had a higher opinion of the wine than you did.

Posted by: Michael at January 30, 2005 9:04 PM

My two cents: the sauce is very good although I found that sweating a half clove of garlic in the butter (not chopped, so it can be removed before serving), and finishing the sauce with a pinch of nutmeg helped round it out a bit. I would also serve this dish with a white wine, perhaps something more full-bodied like a Friuli Tocai.

Posted by: Steve at April 11, 2005 2:25 PM
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