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Pasta with Prosciutto, Walnuts and Gorgonzola
Pasta al sugo di Noci e Gorgonzola
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3 quarts water
3/4 (three quarters) cup walnut halves or pieces
1/2 (one half) cup cream, warmed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 oz prosciutto, thinly sliced and chopped (1/2 (one half) cup)
4 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup sparkling white wine or champagne
1 cup chicken stock
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (3 oz)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 lb. penne rigate, fusilli, conchiglie, or farfalle pasta
Yield: 6 generous portions
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Puree ½ cup of the walnuts and the warm cream in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside remaining walnuts for garnish.
Melt the butter and the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until bubbling. Sauté the onion, prosciutto, garlic and the red pepper flakes until the onions are tender and the prosciutto begins to brown, 6-8 minutes. Deglaze with the sparkling wine, stirring to dislodge any flavorful brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine by half. Stir in the chicken stock, the creamed walnut puree, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer to a sauce consistency 10-12 minutes. Melt the Gorgonzola and Parmesan cheese into the sauce.
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta, and simmer over low heat stirring constantly until the pasta is well coated, about 3 minutes.
Turn the pasta out onto a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and walnuts. The pasta is ready to be served.
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