Penne with Spinach, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts
Chopped nuts are unusual in pasta, but they pair brilliantly with the earthy Gorgonzola in this creamy weeknight dish. Toasting the nuts deepens their flavor, so don’t skip this step.
8 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves (10 lightly packed cups)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
12 oz. dried penne (3-1/2 cups)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2-1/2 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola (1/2 cup) Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
Tip: To wilt the spinach perfectly, put it in a colander and drain the pasta over it.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Put the spinach in a colander in the sink.
Toast the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven until dark golden-brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
Cook the penne according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta in the colander over the spinach.
Put the cream, Gorgonzola, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and a pinch of salt in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the pasta and spinach, and 2 Tbs. each of the walnuts and chives. Cook, stirring constantly, until some of the sauce is absorbed by the pasta, about 2 minutes. If necessary, add some of the cooking water to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. walnuts and 1 Tbs. chives, and serve.
Serve with a simple green salad dressed with homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 114
, pp. 12-16
October 27, 2011