It's another week and another pasta recipe here at Mostly Beige. With the onset of spring, I have had a need for simple and quick dishes that don't weigh you down while still packing a flavorful punch to waken up your culinary senses.
This week, we combine fruit with pasta – a combination that might strike many readers as rather odd. Don't despair – even if you cannot, yet, imagine such an odd pairing, the resulting dish will be very satisfactory – and delicious, of course.
I have skirted around the issue of combining fruit with pasta for over a decade – ever since one of my friends loudly proclaimed to me that her favorite dish was spaghetti with fresh strawberries. Admittedly, I have not yet tried that particular combination and cannot help but keep thinking of it as very odd.
However, I could not help but notice the wonderful combination of pear, gorgonzola, and a bitter green on one of my favorite pizzas and hence, figured that the flavors should nicely mingle if presented via another medium as well.
Thus, this week's recipe provides a complex interplay between very sweet pears and slightly bitter radicchio, all carried nicely forward by the deep and satisfying flavor of Gorgonzola cheese – served of pasta, of course.
I could eat this dish all day long...And - wouldn't you know it? - it is wonderfully beige, too.
3 Tbs. Water
8 oz. Mascarpone
6 oz. Gorgonzola
2 pears (I prefers Bosc pears)
1 small Radicchio
1 lb. Rigatoni
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
Let's get started:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While you wait for the water to reach a rolling boil,
Heat a very large pan over low heat.
Add 3 Tbs. Water and the Mascarpone.
Crumble the Gorgonzola on top.
Stir occasionally over low heat until the Gorgonzola melts into the mascarpone.
Season with freshly ground black pepper.
While the Gorgonzola is melting, cut the two pears into quarters and remove the core, the seeds, and the stringy parts along the middle from core to stem. No need to peel the pears!
Cut the pears into small, bite-size cubes.
Once you are done, put the cubed pear into a bowl and cover with water while you prepare the other ingredients.
Cut the radicchio in half and remove the core.
With the cut side down, thinly slice the radicchio.
Rinse, shake dry, and set aside.
By now, the salted water in your pot should be boiling.
Add the pasta.
About five minutes before the pasta is done, heat another pan over high heat.
Remove the pear cubes from the bowl by pouring them into a strainer.
Shake off excess water.
Add 3 Tbs. olive oil to the pan and immediately add the pear cubes over high heat.
Sauté for two minutes.
Add the radicchio, stir, and sauté for another minute.
Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
Check that the pasta has cooked to your liking. Drain well.
Add the pasta to the pan with the Mascarpone and Gorgonzola, stir.
Now add the pear cubes and radicchio and mix gently.
Sprinkle Parmigiano Reggiano to your liking on top.