Thursday, July 12, 2018

What’s on the MENU this week. Blue Cheese, Bacon and Broccoli Pasta

An easy pasta dish with lots of flavour. You can use the pasta of your choice: penne, or shells, macaroni or fusilli. It even works on spaghetti. But make sure you use good Italian pasta. Try not to overcook the broccoli or it will go a nasty grey. It, too, should be a bit al dente. If you leave off the bacon, it will be suitable for vegetarians. The pasta we used was fusillata, the pasta which is supposed to hold the most sauce 
200g pasta - 250g small broccoli florets - 2 Tbsp olive oil – 6 pieces of streaky bacon cut into 3 cm slices - a good handful of lightly chopped walnuts – 1 clove of garlic, sliced thin - 100g creamy blue cheese, gorgonzola, dolce latte, nothing too strong, cut into small cubes - zest of one lemon – juice of half a lemon – freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta in well salted water until al dente; Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the bacon till crisp; remove and keep aside. Add the walnuts to the pan and fry gently for one minute; add them to the bacon. When the pasta is nearly ready, steam the broccoli for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the garlic for a few seconds till soft. Do not discard the pasta water. Take the pasta out with a slotted spoon and stir it into the oil with the broccoli, the bacon, the walnuts and the lemon zest. Then add the blue cheese. Moisten the dish with a tablespoon or two of the pasta water, and stir until the cheese begins to melt. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and serve immediately. Serves 4

This is a fairly robust dish because of the blue cheese, which can have a slightly metallic note. We think that a Viognier, unwooded or very lightly wooded, makes the perfect companion wine. Its notes of peaches, citrus and slight sweetness are the perfect foil. We had it with Saronsberg’s excellent Viognier. It’s a dry wine with a slight fruity sweetness, which is exactly what this dish called out for, and its fresh acidity cleans the palate. It is our Wine of the Week

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