source: Food & Wine Magazine, Best of the Best Cookbook
You will need:
- 4 oz. gorgonzola cheese (at room temp.)
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (at room temp.)
- 8 cups young, fresh spinach
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 10-12 large fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
- In a small bowl, mash together the gorgonzola and butter until it forms a smooth paste. Set aside, but do not refrigerate.
- Wash & drain the spinach.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add the spinach and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Toss the spinach until it is wilted. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Turn off the heat, but keep the spinach warm on the side of the stove.
- Salt the pasta water and add the spaghetti. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the spaghetti to the skillet and toss with the spinach. Add the gorgonzola-butter mixture and toss to coat the spaghetti. If the pasta seems dry, add a bit of the cooking water and toss again. Add cooking water as necessary to make a creamy consistency. If you use the basil, tear the leaves and toss into the spaghetti. Serve immediately.
Cooking Notes: (a) I reduced the amount of pasta by half to serve the both of us [with a little bit left over]. (b) Accordingly, I reduced the amount of sea salt to 1/2 teaspoon instead of the recommended amount. I left all other measurements the same. (c) Some freshly ground pepper added some needed balance to the bite of the gorgonzola. (d) I ended up using just a splash of the reserved cooking water in order to get the right consistency.
Eddie's Rating: "It's not bad." Then he went and got seconds. When I asked him what he thought could be changed, the response was, "There could be less of the greens." Figures. I think it tasted fine as is and that the dish was not overwhelmed by the spinach at all. Eight cups sounds like a lot, but spinach wilts down into a much smaller quantity when it is cooked. Besides, dark leafy greens are good for you!
The picture isn't a great one, but it was the best I could do. I was already partially through before I realized I had forgotten to take a picture. Bad blogger!