Cooking With Love: Farfalle with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Cheese

This recipe is simple, quick and consists of easy-to-find ingredients, yet it's still original and just a little bit unusual. The gorgonzola (or blue) cheese gives the dish a great taste sensation your family and guests will really enjoy. Be prepared to give out extra copies of the recipe.

Also, there's a bonus cooking lesson baked into today's post--see below.
Farfalle with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Cheese

1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, quartered
4 plum tomatoes, chopped coarsely
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese or blue cheese. (Best to buy a ~4-5 ounce block of cheese and break it up or slice it up yourself.)

1) Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add garlic, saute 1 minute at medium high heat. Add mushrooms, saute another 4-5 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano and basil. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5-7 minutes and then let stand until pasta is ready.

2) Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain but save back 1/2 half cup of leftover cooking water. Add to sauce in skillet. Toss pasta, sauce and crumbled cheese in a large pot. Serve hot.

Two recipe notes:
1) This recipe is a textbook illustration of the importance of reading the recipe twice. Note that the recipe process steps are (arguably) out of order. In fact, the very first thing you'll want to do is start heating the pot of water for the pasta. Then you start the prep work--and the water should be boiling by the time the prep work is finished. Then, since the farfalle should take about 12 or so minutes to cook, you can start cooking the pasta as you saute the other ingredients. Done this way, the pasta and all the other ingredients should be ready at exactly the same time.

The thing is, you'd never know this is if you just started in on the recipe without having read it through first. If you simply executed this recipe's process steps one by one--without advanced knowledge of the steps to come--this recipe would take twice as long to make. It would still come out totaly fine, but you'd waste unnecessary time. Always read the recipe twice.

2) One final note: years ago, this dish taught me exactly what it means to cook with love. One night, I made this recipe while I was calm, focused and in an unusually good mood.

I did every step with extra care, and forgive me for bragging, but it came out absolutely kickass. And when my wife Laura sat down to dinner and started eating, she pounded the table (yes, she actually pounded the table with her fist) and said, “I can tell you made this with love.”

You could technically argue that I didn’t do anything different at all--I cooked this recipe the same way as always, at least in terms of the recipe's discrete steps. But what I did do differently, before I started cooking, was spend a few minutes mentally focusing on how great this meal was going to come out. This ultimately turned into rule #3 of my Seven Rules To Ensure Mistake-Free Cooking post.

Don't ever underestimate the importance of your state of mind when you cook!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this a case of "heart" over "matter"? Keep cooking with love. GP