A few years ago (pre-kids), we were fortunate to spend a weekend at a bed and breakfast on Amelia Island. It’s a cute, sleepy little town with independent bookstores and a quiet, “lost” Florida type of beach.
We chose to eat at the local restaurant in the the converted house next door. I think it was called, The Christmas House. It had handmade quilts hanging on the walls and was owned by two sisters. I’m not quite sure how we discovered that they were soon closing the restaurant, but our bed and breakfast was buying the house to convert it into more rooms.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner – and I ordered Farfalle Gorgonzola. It was some of the best pasta I’ve ever had and except for the few bites that Joey kept stealing from my plate, I devoured the entire thing.
Both Joe and I were so impressed with this entree that we were trying to decipher the ingredients in hopes of recreating it when we returned home. My husband, being the lovely extrovert that he is, suggested that we ask the chef for the recipe.
Aghast, I couldn’t imagine being so forward. But, my husband persisted and he kindly asked our waitress (one of the two sisters) about finding out how to make the dish. She went back to the kitchen and out comes her sister (the cook) with a yellow legal pad and a pen.
– Generous handful of tomatoes (one handful per person eating)
– olive oil (about 2 Tablespoons per 4 servings)
– chopped garlic
– salt and pepper to taste
– butter (roughly a tablespoon per handful of tomatoes)
– 1 lb. crumbled gorgonzola cheese (per 4 servings)
– cheap vodka for flambe
– cream, if needed
– 1 can of artichoke hearts or asparagus or spinach (whatever you have on hand)
– Farfalle (bowtie) pasta
1. Cut up tomatoes (Roma work best) and gently heat olive oil in pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Fry tomatoes until they are soft and begin to change color. (This could be anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how many tomatoes you use).
3. Add 1 glove of garlic for each handful of tomatoes. Allow to simmer for a minute or two.
4. Add 1 TB of butter per serving. (I don’t add quite this much – I add about half that amount and it still tastes fine)
5. Turn the heat to high and add the gorgonzola.
6. Add some vodka…”3 glubs per person. Use cheap vodka” and then light that sucker on fire. (If you’ve never flambeed before…you want to have a cookie sheet or something nearby in case the flames get too high. Fire extinguishers are always a good thing too).
**This sauce does taste better when flambeed, but for the past couple of years, I make it without the vodka. There’s something about fire and a helpful 3-year-old that just don’t mix). **
7. Simmer for another 5 minutes or so (I do this to kill off any potential bacteria in the soft cheese). Add cream if it’s not thick enough.
8. Remove from the burner and use another pan to gently fry the artichoke hearts or asparagus to top the pasta.
And, the very best part of this recipe (besides the taste) is that it freezes well. Oh, yes, there are a few in our freezer right now. A great recipe to welcome a new baby. The sauce will stay good for a little over a month in a regular freezer, probably more if you have a deep freezer. Just warm up it up in the oven or toaster oven and serve over pasta. Enjoy!