Penne with Gorgonzola and Pear Sauce

By Rosana McPhee •

The taste and crumbly texture of Gorgonzola contrasts very well with firm and sweet pears. Here Rosana shares a recipe that is ideal for autumn or winter.

Gorgonzola is a soft, creamy  cheese.  Straw-white in colour and  made with cow's milk. It has a very distinctive taste and green marbling which in essence is the formation of mould. There are two types of Gorgonzola: dolce and piccante.

Gorgonzola piccante is the slightly spicy sweet type, stronger flavoured and veiny, firm yet crumbly. It takes at least 80 days of ageing. Gorgonzola dolce is creamier with a 50 day ageing time. To make the most of the creaminess it's advisable to remove it from the refrigerator at least half an hour before eating.  

Some argue that Gorgonzola was originally fabricated for the first time, in the resort Gorgonzola on the outskirts of Milan in 879. Under the Italian law, Gorgonzola benefits from Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Termed DOP in Italy, this means that it can only be recognised as Gorgonzola if  produced in the provinces of Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli, as well as a number of comuni in the area of Casale Monferrato (province of Alessandria).

Gorgonzola is a truly versatile cheese. It can be melted into risotto, into pasta sauces and  served alongside polenta. As a pizza topping, it forms part of the classic quattro formaggi (four-cheeses pizza). It can be added to salads;  fennel, apple/pears and walnuts sprinkled with gorgonzola  anyone?

It’s famously paired with pears.  The taste and crumbly texture of Gorgonzola contrasts very well with firm and sweet pears. Here is my serving suggestion ideal for the Autumn or Winter.

Penne with Gorgonzola and Pear Sauce

Serves 4-5
• 400g of penne cooked al dente
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• 1 small white onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• Thyme chopped to taste
• 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube crumbled
• 150 g gorgonzola cheese
• 50 ml white wine
• 250 ml fresh cream
• a pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
• 2 pears, peeled, seeded and sliced length ways

• 75g of roasted peanuts, handful of parsley, spring onions and 1 de-seeded red chilli finely chopped  - to taste

Method :
1 ) In a saucepan or skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter

2 ) Add the 1 small chopped onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic and thyme to taste chopped and cook until soft

3 ) Add 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

4 ) Add 50 ml of white wine, on low heat, let the alcohol evaporate. (about 5 minutes) Add the150 g crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, stirring gently until melted

5 ) Add 250 ml of fresh cream, cayenne pepper, the 2 pears, peeled, seeded and sliced ​. Simmer for 2 minutes.

6 ) Add the pasta to the sauce penne already cooked al dente , toss gently and sprinkle with chopped parsley, spring onions, chilli and roasted peanuts to taste. Serve immediately.
Inspired? For more Gorgonzola recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.



Rosana McPhee

Rosana McPhee was born in Brazil and she has been living in London for the last 20 years.  She created a food blog at www.hotandchilli.com, where she writes about her adventures in food, including some ideas and recipes from her native Brazil. You can follow Rosana on Twitter: @Rosana_McPhee

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