Let's face it, coming up with an interesting dinner night after night can certainly be a challenge, particularly when time is short and hunger looms large. Therefore, I think it's time to unlimber an old tried-and-true favorite of mine. This falls under the broad definition, I suppose, of macaroni and cheese. I'm still laughing over my friend Carroll's pronouncement that macaroni and cheese is perfect for "when I lose my teeth." This, however, is great for right now--teeth intact--as it appeals to grown-up taste buds and definitely demands the ability to chew.
Even better, it's a modest culinary effort which gives great satisfaction on two successive nights. First, when it's a killer Hors' d'Oeuvreswhen paired with some crostini. Then, imagine your delight the next evening, when, with the simple addition of a shot of vodka and some toasted walnuts, it's transformed into stellar pasta sauce.
Try this...it's the gift that keeps on giving. Plus, don't you think you should use your teeth with abandon while they're still there?
serves eight as an appetizer or six as the basis of pasta sauce
8 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbly or regular
8 ounces marscapone cheese
1 bunch of chives, chopped
Allow gorgonzola to reach room temperature. Chop into into half-inch dice and combine with marscapone and chives. Mix well. Place in refrigerator for at least three hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve at room temperature with crostini or bagel crisps.
Next Night Gorgonzola Pasta
This is assuming that you didn't eat all of the above. If you did, you have no dinner tonight! Better perhaps to make a double batch, which will then provide enough for this pasta dinner too.
1 batch of gorgonzola spread
1 lb. penne pasta ( I like whole wheat with this sauce, but do whatever you want)
1 ounce vodka
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Put water to boil for pasta. Toast walnuts in a 350 degree oven until they are just brown. Place gorgonzola spread in a saucepan. Add vodka and warm over low heat until it melts, stirring frequently. Do not let it boil. Cook pasta according to directions, drain and toss with gorgonzola pasta sauce. Cover with toasted walnuts and serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.