Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gorgonzola Penne with Butternut Squash & Spinach

It's time for the truth: I can't find my camera.

Which begins to explain the even-worse-than-usual photos - and sad lack of posts - on this blog. I've been using my iPhone (and it's not even the iPhone 4, which takes scockingly lovely pictures). Of course I do a little primping in Photoshop, but no amount of amateur retouching can save these photos from themselves.

While I'm making excuses, I'll try this one: I've been sadly lacking in inspiration lately. Not that I haven't been cooking. I've just been cooking the same boring rotation of things I always make: tofu peanut curry, lasagna, pasta in a veggie marinara sauce. Zzzzzzzzz...

So, loyal readers, is there anything you'd like to see me make? Any requests? Ideas? Things from your own repertoire I could put my own spin on? I've reached the point of saturation: every time I open a Food & Wine or check my Chow daily email I think to myself, Already made that, or I don't really eat swordfish, or Baking? Who wants to measure?!

Having said all that, using blue cheese in a pasta sauce was new for me, and I really liked it. The other liquid ingredients cut the pungency of the cheese, but the deep moldy flavor is enough to create a tangy, savory, highly flavored sauce. I think next time I'd cook the butternut squash a little longer, but hey, I was really hungry. If I were going to make this a meaty dish, my first inclination would be to use hot pork sausage, or something whose flavor can stand up to the richness of the sauce. Then again, I know some of you are diehard chicken fans, and you could go that route, too.

Thanks for sticking with me through my existential recipe crisis! And please, leave me a comment or two with requests and inspiration!


2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
salt and pepper
3/4 c. white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lemon
~1-2 T. chopped fresh sage
1-2 T. chopped fresh parsley
~1/2 lb. gorgonzola cheese, in chunks
splash of milk (optional)
~1/3 cup pasta cooking water (if needed)
2/3 lb. whole wheat penne pasta


Pre-heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil and let butter melt. Add butternut squash chunks to pan. Let cook without moving for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Shake the pan and cook for about 5 more minutes.


Add in lemon juice, white wine, garlic, and herbs. Cover and cook for about 10 more minutes, until squash is tender but not mushy. Meanwhile, boil the penne pasta until just below al dente, reserving a little pasta water. Place the spinach in the bottom of a colander, and drain the pasta over the spinach to wilt it. Set aside.


When squash is tender, uncover the pan and add the gorgonzola. Let melt while stirring. If sauce is too thick, add a splash of milk and/or pasta water. Stir in drained pasta and spinach and stir until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve and enjoy!

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