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Penne Alla Gorgonzola

When I was pregnant with H, I had this amazing, huge appetite. I was eating constantly. I was nauseated and hungry all the time.

I had been given the advice to eat several small meals and that would help curb the morning sickness. There was no way I could just eat small meals. I had to eat full meals 6-8 times each day. It was really hard to eat that much, to be required to eat that much. It was the strangest thing, he just took so much fuel to grow!

Poor Mr. Smith was put in the position of Food Procurer. It was a full-time job.

I couldn't really cook very easily since I felt so nauseated all the time. Raw meat just made me want to run to the bathroom. Dairy products, forget it, didn't even stay down for 10 minutes. I will never forget the day I ate some potato soup. Ughh.

I craved turkey. I was roasting a turkey breast about once a week. I wanted turkey with every meal. I had a turkey sandwich almost every day of my pregnancy. Not to mention the full turkey dinners I was eating for breakfast (stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, thankyouverymuch). Yikes. No wonder I kept getting "the talk" at each doctor's appointment, you know, "the talk" about my alarming weight gain. "The talk" about what I had been eating, how often, how much.

The worst thing I craved was blue cheese and gorgonzola cheese. Both on the forbidden list for pregnant gals. Drat! This was a tough one. It seemed like every salad, sandwich, pasta, every take out menu was littered with blue cheese and gorgonzola. I could not get away from it.

Finally, at long last, during the narrow window between children, I found this recipe. I was elated. I finally could eat the forbidden substance again!

Now, I know this particular cheese is not for everyone. The sauce is rich and decadent, but so very delicious. Elegant and easy. If you pair it with some fortified pasta (I like Bertolli), you have a complete entree. Steam some broccoli and you got yourself a beautiful meal.

1 lb. penne
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
1 cup whole milk
1/2 lb. Gorgonzola dolce or Saga Blue, rind discarded and cheese cut into pieces (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 ozs. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)

Cook pasta in a 6-8 quart pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 10-12 minutes.

While the pasta boild, heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, the cook sage, stirring, about 1 minute. Add milk and gorgonzola and cook, stirring and breaking up cheese, until sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes (sauce will be thin). Reduce heat to low and stir in pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste.

Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain the pasta. Add pasta and parmesan to sauce, stirring to coat. Thin with a little reserved, lovely starchy water if necessary.

Makes 6 main-course servings.

Adapted from Gourmet, October 2003.

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