This is a slightly embellished version of a dish my best friend served to me. I don’t think I have anything in my repertoire that isn’t borrowed, adapted or just brazenly stolen actually. But I think this is the same for most cooks. Except Heston perhaps, who seems to come up with food ideas while reading fantasy novels. I’m sure he’s working on a method to bring extinct animals back to life, Jurassic Park style, so we can look forward to freeze dried Dodo Gizzard, perhaps with a Unicorn Jus. Yes I know, unicorns aren’t extinct, they never existed, blah, blah. You people are so literal! Then there’s the whole post-modern gastronomy thing or multi-sensory cooking, culinary physics, or whatever you want to call it. A lot of this stuff is very fashionable and often the practitioners of the aforementioned arts and sciences are at the head of what are supposedly the best restaurants in the world. Apologies, but I’m gonna call this out as pretentious bullshit. I prefer chefs and recipes that make simple things delicious, rather than making simple things ridiculous. As for eating live ants and the like, well let’s just say I can wait for the apocalypse before I’ll even think about eating bugs.
Easy Blue Cheesy Pasta
For two so adjust accordingly
- 200 g Pasta Penne or Fusilli or suchlike works best for this
- 75-100 g ish blue cheese
- 75-100 g ish creme fraiche or cream
- A large shallot or half an average onion
- A clove or two or garlic optional
- Some sliced mushrooms optional
- Olive oil or butter or both for frying
- Salt and pepper
- A handful of walnuts optional
Get a big pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Add your pasta to the pot and get on with the rest of this as it will be ready by the time your pasta is al dente.
I use a large saute pan for this but any decent sized saucepan is fine. Gently fry your finely chopped onion until it has softened, add minced garlic and anything else you might like at this stage, I put in some mushrooms I had lying around or you could add some spinach or green beans or whatever, but it’s just fine without. When the mushrooms, onion and garlic are cooked to your satisfaction and the pasta is nearly done, crumble the blue cheese into the saucepan. How much you use is up to you. Different blue cheeses have different strengths. The cheap one I used was fairly mild so I used quite a lot to get that blue cheese flavour throughout the dish, you might need a little less of some of the more stinky, expensive blue cheeses. Stir the cheese in until it melts down and then add the creamy substance of your choice and season with salt and pepper. Go easy with the salt as the cheese already adds a lot of saltiness.
Drain your pasta and add to the cheesy mix and stir through.
I like to toast some chopped walnuts, by which I mean dry fry in a pan with no oil for a minute or two to release their flavour, and sprinkle these on top for some crunch.
Serve and eat, maybe with some crusty bread or a few salad leaves or whatever you’re having yourself.
A note on nuts. The unroasted, unsalted nuts that are used in cookery can be quite expensive and are mostly found in tiny portions in the health freak section of the supermarkets where you will also find people wearing excessive amounts of lycra and jogging on the spot. Fortunately, the German supermarket chains do very reasonably priced large packets of various nuts which are a store cupboard staple of mine as they the keep for months. I usually have a packet of Brazils, Cashews and Walnuts hanging around waiting for their moment to shine. If you are vegetarian or vegan, nuts are absolutely essential for your well being as a source of protein and vitamins and magnesium and other such lovely things.