Sunday, February 13, 2011

Penne with Walnuts and Gorgonzola

A gourmet meal does not necessarily require lots of ingredients. This simple and easy pasta dish is packed with flavor, but uses only a few ingredients.

It is elegant enough for a special occasion, but quick enough to prepare after work on a weeknight.


1/2 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (approx. 4-6 ounces), at room temperature*, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the penne according to the package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, until walnuts are lightly toasted. (The walnuts can turn too brown very quickly, so watch them carefully.)

Add the cooked pasta to the walnut mixture and toss.

Add 1/2 cup of the gorgonzola. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Go easy on the salt, as the gorgonzola is salty.) Toss lightly, until the gorgonzola is warm but not completely melted.

Transfer the pasta to serving plates. Top with the remaining gorgonzola, and serve.

-- 3-4 servings

* Note: Take the gorgonzola out of the refrigerator when you start to heat the water for the pasta. It should be close enough to room temperature by the time you’re ready for it.

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