I could give you a lengthy list of things that keep me awake at night. Some are (or at least they seem) important, some are rather random such as my worry last night ...do blue cheese and sage really go together? I like blue cheese and I am borderline obsessed with crispy sage but, both of these ingredients are pretty assertive and I wasn't sure if I would like them paired up in larger amounts and combined with ricotta and Parmesan in a bowl of pasta. Since Donna Hay rarely steers me wrong, her recipe for Simple Three-Cheese Pasta kept 'calling out' to me in her Fresh, Fast, Simple. cookbook, and I really needed some cheesy-pasta comfort this week--I decided to give it a try.
Donna Hay's Simple Three-Cheese Pasta
From Fast, Fresh, Simple by Donna Hay
200 g (about 7 oz) rigatoni or fettuccine
20 g butter (about 1.5 Tbsp)
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves
150 g ricotta (about 5 oz)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
100 g (about 3.5 oz) blue cheese, crumbled (I used about 1 1/4 oz--see notes below)
sea salt & cracked black pepper
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan to keep warm.
Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil and cook until melted. Add the sage and cook for 3 minutes each side or until crisp, remove from heat and set aside.
Toss the ricotta, Parmesan and blue cheese through the pasta. Divide between serving plates and top with the sage and a little of the sage butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to serve.
Notes/Results: This is one rich and decadent cheesy pasta--like a tricked out mac 'n cheese for grownups. I stirred the ricotta into the warm pasta first so it melted into a creamy sauce before gently stirring in the parm and blue cheese--which blend right in. The large tubes of rigatoni hold all of that creamy goodness well and the crisp sage leaves are a good textural contrast. As for the sage and blue cheese combination--I liked it. My favorite bites had the fried sage with bits of blue cheese and a little of the sage butter sauce drizzled on them. (By the way, since the Point Reyes blue cheese I used is so strong and pungent, I reduced the amount by about a third so it didn't overpower.) Blue cheese is
pretty polarizing--people either like/love it or they hate it. If you
aren't a fan, Donna suggests on her website that you either try the
milder-flavored Gorgonzola or substitute another strong-flavored
cheese such as Tallegio. This recipe says two servings but because the servings are good-sized and the dish so rich, I would serve a smaller portion to 3 or 4 accompanied by a salad. At the table in about 20 minutes if you do your prep while the water and pasta boil, this is an indulgent pasta dish that I would make again.
You can check out the Fast & Fabulous (ready in 30-minutes or less) Donna Hay dishes that everyone made this week at IHCC by going to the post and following the links.