Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A couple of days ago I bought a block of gorgonzola cheese from the store. I wanted to find out if I like it. I have a vague memory of my father once making me pasta with gorgonzola cheese in the sauce, but cannot actually remember the taste of it. I know that gorgonzola is often paired with walnuts, so I bought a bag of those as well. I then looked up a few recipes on the web for inspiration. Most of the walnut gorgonzola pasta recipes I found used heavy cream, butter and thyme. I decided to come up with something similar, but simple. I used low-fat milk in place of the cream, since the gorgonzola already adds so much fat and cholesterol to the recipe. I decided not to use any herbs, because I wanted the flavors of the walnuts and gorgonzola to stand out. I did use garlic, because I seem to put that in almost everything I cook. It must come from the Italian side of the gene pool. I also threw in some green onions to add the slightest bite to what is otherwise a very creamy and earthy sauce. I was very pleased with the results. The sauce was the perfect consistency, and very tasty. The cheese was a tad salty, and definately a little heavy, so I kept the portions on the smaller side. I found that by sprinkling some fresh, uncooked, diced tomatoes over the top the dish looked beautiful and it mellowed out the salty bite of the cheese. Don't get me wrong...this is a delicious, and very elegant looking, dish. It was quick and easy to make, and I recommend it highly. So, here's the recipe I came up with:
Walnut Gorgonzola Pasta
1 cup low-fat milk (or non-fat)
6 oz block of gorgonzola cheese, crumblrd into small pieces
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp canola or light olive oil
4 green onions, chopped
12 oz dry pasta (fettucine, linguini, farfalle or fusili)
Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling water according to package directions. Be sure not to overcook the pasta. Drain, rinse and set aside.
The 1/2 cup ground walnuts can be made in a food grinder, food processor or even a coffee grinder.
In a medium skillet heat the oil over med-high heat. Add the garlic and 1/3 of the green onions. Saute 3 or 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes frangrant and tender. Reduce the heat to medium. Pour in the milk and add the gorgonzola cheese. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring slowly and constantly, until at least half of the cheese has melted into the milk. Add the ground and chopped walnuts, mix together well. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for another 7 to 10 minutes, or until all the cheese has melted and the sauce becomes thickened and smooth. Remove from heat.
To serve, divide the pasta onto plates (makes about 4 servings) and then divide the sauce over the top of each sering. Spinkle the remaining chopped green onions evenly over each plate, and add diced tomatoes if you want them (about 1/2 a medium tomato per serving). Serve with a nice garlic bread and a leafy green salad. The green salad helps your body to digest the cheese sauce.
So, that's my Walnut Gorgonzola Pasta recipe. Enjoy!

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