Pasta With Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola

One of my clients sent me a large Harry and David gift package, and it came with a TON of pears. What to do? Google. This is what came up and I'm very happy about it.


Pasta With Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola

Source: Oregonian Live | Serves: 2 | Time: 45 min


Changes: changed up measurements since I halved the recipe; used red lentil penne instead of classic rigatoni; used vegan butter (it's the butter I keep on hand)


Ingredients

Salt

6 oz Explore Cuisine red lentil penne

1/4 cup walnut pieces

2 tbsp vegan butter

2 Bosc #pears, peeled, cored and each cut lengthwise into eight wedges

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, plus more for finishing

2-3 tbsp dried cranberries

1/4 tsp black pepper


Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until just shy of al dente, tender yet firm to the bite, according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining. Drain well.


While the pasta is cooking, set a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer them to a bowl or plate, so they don't burn, and wipe out the skillet.


Set the skillet back over medium heat and add the butter. Once it melts, add the pears. Cook, turning the pears occasionally, until they are lightly browned and tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the pears to a separate plate, leaving behind as much liquid in the skillet as possible.


Add the broth to the skillet and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze any flavorful brown bits that may have accumulated. Add the Gorgonzola and bring to a simmer, whisking until the cheese melts and the sauce reduces slightly, about 5 minutes.


Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and toss to coat the pasta in the sauce. Add the remaining pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, to loosen the pasta. The texture should be creamy and fluid, not pasty.


Divide among warmed plates, add the pears, walnuts and cranberries, and sprinkle with a little more Gorgonzola. Season generously with the pepper and serve.

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