Penne with Gorgonzola,
Walnuts, and Spinach
selecting a Gorgonzola for this dish, be sure to get one that
is young and firm as opposed to one more aged, soft, and pungent.
Heating accentuates flavors and aromas, so an older Gorgonzola
will be too pungent and will overwhelm all the other flavors.
This is a good lunchtime dish; it is rich and flavorful but
still light, and can be put together in about 20 minutes.
cup walnut halves
ounces dry penne
cup Chicken Stock or Vegetable
stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter
teaspoon fresh savory leaves
cups loosely packed spinach leaves
ounces Gorgonzola cheese, broken or cut into chunks
cracked black pepper
of 1/2 medium lemon
The Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spread the walnut halves on a baking pan and toast in the
oven about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring with a spatula halfway
through. Take care not to brown the walnuts, as it will produce
a bitter flavor. Remove the walnuts from the oven, allow them
to cool, and reserve. In a large stockpot, over high heat,
bring approximately 4 quarts of water to a boil ad add 1 tablespoon
of kosher salt. Add the penne and cook al dente, according
to the manufacturer's directions. Drain the pasta in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan, over medium
heat, combine the stock, butter, and savory leaves. Cook until
the butter is completely dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the walnuts, then he spinach, and cook about 1 minute
longer. Add the cooked penne and about three quarters of the
cheese, reserving a little to crumble over the pasta as a
garnish, and heat through, about 1 minute. (The Gorgonzola
should not completely melt.)
the seasoning to taste with kosher salt, black pepper, and
fresh lemon juice. Divide the penne among 4 large, warm soup
plates. Spoon the sauce over, equally dividing walnuts and
spinach leaves among the plates. Crumble reserved Gorgonzola
over and serve immediately.
Lemon Meringue Tart with Champagne Vinegar
Yield: one 10-inch tart
This is certainly not to be confused with the standard mile-high
lemon meringue tart with the cornstarch-thickened lemon filling.
Our meringue tart is thin, elegant, sleek, and compact.
If you are lucky enough to find Meyer lemons, use them: they
have a slightly more refined and gentle flavor than the other
lemons. The meringue wedges may be made up to 2 days in advance.
It is best to store them in an airtight container with parchment
paper (see direction below) still attached.
cup lightly packed powdered sugar
extra-large egg whites
cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (from 10 large lemons)
cup granulated sugar
cup heavy cream
To prepare the meringue: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut a circle of parchment paper 10-inches in diameter. Fold
the circle into eighths, cut into 8 individual wedges, and
set aside. In a large mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering
water, combine the powdered sugar and egg whites. Whisk until
smooth and warm to the touch, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove
the mixing bowl from the heat, push the flour through a fine-mesh,
stainless-steel strainer into the egg white mixture, and whisk
to combine completely. Distribute the wedges of parchment
paper on a smooth work surface. Using an offset spatula, spread
the meringue in an 1/8-inch- thick layer over each wedge of
parchment paper, taking care to completely coverthe parchment,
so that when the paper is lifted from the work surface, a
perfect wedge shape of meringue will be formed. Distribute
the wedges on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake until
the meringue rises and the top is smooth, shiny, and lightly
brown, about 10 minutes.
To test for doneness, peel the paper away from the meringue.
The paper should separate cleanly. When the meringue wedges
are done, allow them to cool, peel off and discard the paper,
and reserve the meringue wedges. To prepare the filling: Preheat
the oven to 275 degrees, and adjust the rack to the middle
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the
lemon juice and the sugar, and cook until the sugar dissolves,
about 1 to 2 minutes. In a large, stainless-steel mixing bowl,
whisk the eggs and cream, just to combine.
Remove the lemon juice and sugar mixture from the heat. Slowly
ad it to the mixing bowl containing the egg-and-cream mixture,
and whisk to incorporate completely. Using a fine-mesh, stainless-steel
strainer, strain the custard into a second large mixing bowl.
Pour the custard into the prebaked tart shell and bake until
the center still jiggles a bit when gently shaken, about 30
to 40 minutes.Remove the tart from the oven, and allow to
cool about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the tart ring. Using a
sharp knife, cut the tart in wedges that are the same size
as the pieces of meringue. Place each piece of tart on a dessert
plate and top with a meringue wedge. Spoon a few tablespoons
of Champagne Vinegar Sauce next to each portion and serve
from Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton's
The Food of Campanile
© 1997 by Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton.
All rights reserved