Remember when I decided I needed to try gluten-free pasta to see if I could substitute it in for my tagliatelle with gorgonzola? I ran down to the store the other day for the ingredients to make classic mac and cheese with rice pasta, and couldn’t find rice pasta. However, they did have quinoa pasta and corn pasta, so I chose the corn because it came in classic elbow macaroni and cooked it up. It tastes good! Honestly, I couldn’t even tell the difference. Plus, according to the wise comments, rice pasta falls apart anyway – so I will take that to mean my choice of corn pasta was a genius move on my part and even if the store had had rice pasta, I undoubtedly would still have chosen the corn because I just know things like that….yeah….
So this is excellent, and will let me go with my original menu idea of soup followed by pasta and simple veggies, and maybe a nice brown bread for the gluten eaters. One of my guests offered to bring macaroons for dessert, which are obviously gluten-free and sound soooo good! I’ll just save the balsamic truffles for another time; it’s always kind of a nice feeling to know you’ve got a dessert in your back pocket that will go with almost any meal and no one has seen it before. We’ll start with a nice simple zucchini and goat cheese appetizer, which I can not only make the day before, but will be extra vegetables (always good!) and a little protein in the cheese.
As for libations, a non-drinking friend is bringing something tasty and non-alcoholic. For the drinkers, I think the wine will have to marry well with the gorgonzola but otherwise could probably be whatever you like. I’ll probably just ask at the wine shop what they would recommend, as I’m no wine expert. I even went to a lovely wine tasting the other night that was meant to be focused on how to order wine from a mysterious wine list – we all know how foreign those look, right?! This was information I needed! – and I kid you not, the advice they gave over and over was “Ask the sommelier.” So basically there is no way to figure it out yourself. Oh well, I still had a great time at the tasting and got to see friends from college, so it was overall a win.
Sweet Home Dinner Menu
- Gluten-Free Pasta baked with Mushrooms, Gorgonzola and Walnuts (continue for the recipe)
- Roasted green beans with balsamic vinegar and honey
- Macaroons from my friend AC
Gluten-Free Pasta baked with Mushrooms, Gorgonzola and Walnuts
Adapted from The Best-Ever One-Pot Cookbook
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 6 cups chestnut or crimini mushrooms, halved
- 3 leeks, thinly sliced
- 21 ounces tube corn pasta, like penne or macaroni – or other gluten-free pasta
- 9 ounces gorgonzola cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove and heat it until boiling, then add the pasta and cook until just barely tender (you want it very al dente so when you bake it later, the pasta finishes cooking in the oven). Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Melt the butter and oil in a large pan, then add the mushrooms and leeks and saute them for about 4-5 minutes, until tender. Put them in a bowl and set aside. Using the same pan, crumble the gorgonzola into the pan and stir over low heat until melted. Add the cream, milk and vermouth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Put the pasta in a large casserole dish (or divide into individual baking dishes if you have them) and top with an even layer of the mushrooms and leeks. Cover with the gorgonzola sauce and sprinkle the chopped walnuts and parmesan cheese on top. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbling.