Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gorgonzola Fettucine Alfredo with Seared Artichoke Hearts

This recipe is loosely based on a ridiculously overpriced dish I had at a restaurant in Helsinki. Granted, the food was good, especially the tortellini in pasta sauce. But due to some linguistic misunderstandings I wound up getting a lot more food and paying a lot more money that night. Since I've been home I've been cooking up a storm -- I hardly got to cook at all abroad since I was so busy with everything else. Anywho, this is my modification of the gorgonzola pasta dish. Be forewarned, it's quite heavy but lighter than most recipes I've found for alfredo sauce.

You will need:

1/2 lb dry Fettucine pasta
Water, salted to taste, for boiling
2 tbsp olive oil

Equivalent of 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (there are sharper and sweeter versions, I went with the sweeter one)
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste

1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1 clove garlic, zested or chopped finely
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup wine (if desired)

Start off by boiling the pasta, putting the olive oil in the water and stirring to prevent sticking. You'll want to cook this for 10-12 minutes, give or take.

Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and gorgonzola once hot. Stir until there are few lumps and add salt. Set aside to thicken.

Take a skillet, ideally cast iron, and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, put in the olive oil and add the salt. Use a spatula to coat the entire skillet and add the artichoke hearts and spices. After stirring to coat each piece thoroughly, add the white wine and mix quickly. Continue to cook until the sides of the hearts begin to brown and set aside.

I like to mix my sauce with the pasta but a lot of people think it's prettier to serve the sauce drizzled over it. Whatever works. Top it with the seared artichoke and serve with hot, crusty bread.

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