Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Creamy Penne with Walnuts

I was off from work today, because people really shouldn't have to work AND vote on the same day, and felt like cooking something new.  I had all day to think about it, but all I could come up with was the meatballs.  I asked Bec, and her only input was mac and cheese.  Yes, our mac and cheese recipe from Cooks Illustrated is amazing, but I wanted to experiment a little.  So I flipped through some cookbooks and stumbled upon this recipe from a Williams Sonoma Pasta cookbook, a gift from my sister in law and fellow food blogger, Brooke.  Hi Brooke!
I like this recipe because it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and the Gorgonzola Parmesan cheese sauce sounded really interesting.  Its not exactly fat free, but it is damn tasty.

4 Tbs unsalted butter
6 oz. mild Gorgonzola cheese (aged 3 months)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. Penne or other tubular pasta
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

For the sauce:  In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the cream and Gorgonzola, mashing it with a wooden spoon.  Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 3 minutes.  Do not allow the sauce to boil.  Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and pepper.

For the pasta:  Cook the Penne in salted water until al dente, according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.  Add the pasta to the sauce along with the walnuts and stir to combine.  Add a little bit of the pasta water to thin the sauce just a bit.  Warm for a few minutes on low heat just to blend the flavors and let the pasta absorb the sauce, and serve.  Serves 4.

I only used a splash of the pasta water, then put it back on low heat for about 5 minutes and the sauce turned out perfect.  The pasta absorbed a good bit of the sauce and it was nice and thick.  Best part about this meal is it took under 30 minutes

Download a printable recipe here!


Brooke said...

Hi John! You need to make this again. For me.

Kristin said...

Um, yeah. Guess my invitation got lost in the mail. Hate when that happens...

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