You guessed it…ME! I am not a big fan of breakfast food for breakfast. I will, however, unabashedly devour a good dish of leftovers with my coffee at 7:00 in the morning. I don’t even bother to reheat the food half of the time. It’s just the kind of gal I am.
That being said, let’s talk for a moment about last night’s culinary creation. I’ve always heard about this smelly little cheese called Gorgonzola but I never had a reason to try it. There are very few cheeses I don’t like. In fact, it’s a personal goal of mine to try every cheese known to man. (Diet tip: this does NOT help when you are trying to lose 10 extra pounds of pregnancy weight) So, after spotting an intriguing new pasta recipe, I picked up a container of soft Gorgonzola.
Gorgonzola (don’t you just love that word?) is veined Italian blue cheese, made from unskimmed cow’s and/or goat’s milk. It can be buttery or firm, crumbly and quite salty, with a ‘bite’ from its blue veining (thank you Wikipedia). After smelling the cheese and looking at the white and blue blob sitting in the container, I really did not think this was going to go over well with my picky crew. Honestly, I didn’t even know if I was willing to try it. I decided to throw caution to the wind and make the dish anyway. My hope was to appeal to Hubby’s Sicilian roots.
The dish started off like so many other wonderful Italian dishes. Pasta was boiling on one burner. Onion, garlic and tomatoes were simmering on another and garlic bread was toasting away in the oven. The house had that yummy ‘restaurant smell’. Life was good. I had a panic moment and started asking myself “Should I really mess with perfection and add some smelly old cheese? What if my house winds up smelling like Gorgonzola?”. I took a
sip gulp of wine, gathered up my courage and added the cheese. A magical thing happened. My wonderful tomato sauce turned into a delightfully creamy dish with a truly unique flavor. It wasn’t harsh like I thought it would be. In fact, the Gorgonzola was so mild that it just gave a hint of tangyness to the sauce.
The end result…Hubby really liked it & called it a “keeper” (the highest compliment from a non-foodie you can get!). I had seconds (darn that pesky baby-weight!) and Bean had plain noodles with butter and parmesean. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.
Here’s the recipe. Please note: I’m still trying to figure my way through this blogging experience. I want to devote a whole page to recipes but, I haven’t found a way to make them independent posts. Bear with me while I iron out the kinks. Thanks! 🙂 Also, this is my first post that hasn’t been proof-read by Hubby. Please forgive any grammar or spelling mistakes.
Tomato-Gorgonzola Sauce with pasta shells:
I got this recipe from Cuisine at Home (issue No. 65 Oct. 2007)
3/4 lb. Dry medium-size pasta shells
1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes in juice (14 oz. each)
2 t. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup creamy Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
salt to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the shells. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium. Add onion, pepper flakes, and black pepper; cook 3 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add tomato paste and garlic; saute for 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until thickened
Add cream, simmer for 1 minute, then stir in cheese (MAGIC TIME), basil, cooked shells and salt. Serve immediately.