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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Rigatoni with Caramelized Onions in Gorgonzola

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It's quite simple:

  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 4 oz hard Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • Optional embellishments: diced honey ham, cooked chicken or pork tenderloin, peas, broccoli, sauteed mushrooms, cooked (drained) spinach
  • 1/2 pound rigatoni (or other pasta of your choice)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1) Put a pot of water on for the pasta. Cook the pasta for about 2-3 minutes less than indicated on the package instructions. You want the pasta undercooked because you’ll finish cooking it in the sauce.

2) In a frying pan over medium-high heat, add some oil and sautee the onions until they caramelize. This could take 20 minutes or more. Adjust the heat if necessary to keep the onions from burning.

3) In a saucepan, heat the cream over medium-low heat. Add the cheese and stir to melt. If the sauce is simmering too vigorously, turn down the heat. You want to slowly melt the cheese. Don’t worry if the sauce is not thick. It will thicken when you cook it with the pasta. Keep over low heat until the pasta and onions are ready.

4) Once the pasta is done, drain it (don’t rinse it) and return it to the pot. Put the pot over medium-low heat. Add the sauce (and optional embellishments, if using) and stir gently but thoroughly to mix. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, or until until the pasta is done to your liking. By then, the sauce should have thickened up from the starch in the pasta. Add the caramelized onions and mix well. Serves 3-4.

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