Sunday, March 25, 2012

Portobello and Spinach Penne with Creamy Tomato Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

This just might be the best pasta sauce I've come up with.  With fresh tomatoes and basil this summer, it will be to die for.

This recipe serves four.

3 large portabello mushroom caps, sliced 1 cm thick and halved or quartered
125 g (1/4 lb) gorgonzola dolce, roughly chopped
400 g (28 oz) can chopped plum tomatoes
80 g baby spinach (one bunch)
1 medium onion diced
2 small leeks, white part chopped
2 cloves garlic smashed
3 sprigs thyme
1 T sherry
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch basil, leaves only
3 T olive oil
4 T cream
1/3 cup milk
freshly ground pepper
pinch sugar

1.  Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a pan on medium heat and sauté onions and leeks for a few minutes, until translucent.

2.Add thyme and bay leaf and cook for another minute.  Add the can of tomatoes and one clove of garlic and stir.  Once bubbling, turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

3.  While the sauce is cooking, sauté the mushrooms on high heat in the remaining olive oil with the other garlic clove and a sprig of thyme.  When the mushrooms start to turn color add the sherry and cook for another minute.

4.  Add the mushrooms to the sauce.

5.  Crumble in the gorgonzola and add the basil leaves roughly torn.  Turn off the heat.  Stir and leave to infuse while you cook the pasta.

6.  Cook the pasta according to package.

7.  Remove the whole garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf from the sauce.  Add the cream and milk.

8.  Add the spinach leaves and on a low flame, heat the sauce until the spinach has wilted.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the pasta and toss to coat.

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