January 14, 2014

Blue Cheese & Pear Sauce

Blue cheese and pears, everyone loves that combination. Why not make a sauce of those favorite foods and serve it over pasta? I could only think yum and I was right. The secret is not overloading the blue cheese and to use a juicy soft pear. The rest is sauce 101.

I think The Nudge was expecting a heavy blue cheese sauce, you know, the kind you dip wings into. Not the case here. It was perfectly balanced and I would make this again for when I am serving simply grilled, roasted or sauteed meat.

I used Anne Burrells recipe for spaetzle, minus the fresh herbs. Instead I added a pinch of dried rosemary to the sauce. Was the right choice.

If you do not have a spaetzle maker, you could do what I do and use your pasta drainer, one with large round holes. It must be able to handle heat since it will sit on a pot of boiling water and you will also need a spatula to force the dough mix down. A simple set-up but it works well for me, every time. If you have access to a large insert on your food mill, you can use that and the large disk for a potato ricer, although will produce small spaetzle, will also work. If you want to bypass the whole from scratch pasta thing, buy small gnocchi or even fresh cavatelli, but dried will not work as well.

The most important thing is to buy a wedge of real blue cheese, not crumbles we throw into salads and Buffalo dips, they are coated with something that stops them from sticking together. Any blue cheese will melt perfectly, so origin is not important.
Add splash of sweet Moscato and a touch of honey and you have the ultimate sauce, the kind I would serve with a fillet of beef as easily as with a bowl of gnocchi.

Blue Cheese & Pear Spaetzle
serves 4

* 1/2 small white onion, diced
* 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup sweet white wine
* 1 teaspoon honey or Agave Nectar
* salt & pepper
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 2 ounces wedge bleu cheese (I love the new buttermilk style)
* 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, minced
* 1 pear, peeled, seeded and diced

* 1 batch spaetzle (recipe here but can also buy the box mix)

1. Chop the onion, garlic and saute in the butter along with the rosemary. When soft, add the pear, wine, honey and simmer until the wine is almost evaporated. Add the cream, salt & pepper and when the cream comes up to a boil, add the cheese, cover, turn off the heat and let the cheese melt.
2. Right before serving, heat the sauce with the spaetzle until is starts to simmer. Serve immediately.

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