Saturday, February 5, 2011

Seas of Bleu - Conchigli alla Crema Azzura

Bleu Cheeses.  You either love them, or hate them.

I find myself in the love category when it comes to this somewhat pungent penicillin perforated potentate of the cheese persuasion.  Whether Danish, Saga, Castello, Stilton, Cambazola, d'Auvergne, Roquefort, Norbury, de Bresse, Gorgonzola, Saint Agur or Rogue River.  Whether made from a closed herd of Fresian cows in England, constructed from Sheep milk and cave aged, goat milk or a combination of all three. They all have their own special characteristics even though they are all based on Penicillin. Yep, Penicillium Roqueforti and P. Glaucum.  Sadly, this species of penicillin does not make a good antibiotic for human sicknesses, but it sure makes some pretty awesome cheese.  LOL

When I am in the mood for a cheese-centric pasta dish, that is NOT Macaroni and Cheese, this is my goto recipe.  Toothy shells or gnocchi (the pasta not "di Patate") bathed in a sea of creamy azure cheese, accented with Shallots, Lemon Zest and Muscat Canelli wine.  I could seriously drown myself in this stuff.  I will warn you though, it's VERY rich.

I think my favorite part is how the shells, or in this case Gnocchi pasta, harbor the sauce within it's al dente folds.  YUM... OK, I need to go bury my face in a bowl now... 

Conchigli alla Crema Azzura

3 Tb Butter
2 Shallots Minced Fine
1 clove of Garlic Minced fine
2 oz Muscat Canelli or Muscato
3 oz Chicken Stock
12 oz Heavy Cream
8 oz Gorgonzola Dolce (Dolcelatte, Creamy Gorg or Young Gorgonzola), crumbled
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of Kosher salt
Freshly Ground Black pepper
1 lb Conchigli or Gnocchietti di Siciliana
Handful of Italian Parsley, finely chopped

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop the pasta.

Over medium heat, melt butter and sauté shallots and garlic about 3 minutes.

Add the Muscat and let it reduce by half.

Reduce heat to low and add stock and cream, then bring back to a simmer.

Stir in the crumbled gorgonzola and stir until melted.

Add the Lemon zest.

Season with Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper.

Drain the pasta and place in a large shallow bowl.

Pour the Gorgonzola Sauce over the Pasta and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with the chopped Parsley and toss again.

Serve immediately.

Dive into a sea of blue-green deliciousness.


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