For those gorgonzola cheese lovers out there, this post is for you… because even smelling gorgonzola cheese usually makes me queasy. But ya know what? After making and then testing this recipe, I think I’m a fanzola (a fan of gorgonzola). No? Too cheesy? Cheesy! Get it? OK…. it’s almost Friday, please forgive me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a cheese plate lover. Manchego, brie, camembert, l’explorateur and boucheron are my favorites (in case you are planning on buying me a cheese-of-the-month subscription). Whenever I order cheese at a restaurant, I always tell the waiter (unobnoxiously, of course): “Give me your best…. as long as it’s not a blue cheese!” Now, let me tell you how this pasta dish is really a cheese plate….
I found a crate of adorable baby anjou pears at the farmer’s market and had to have them. I’m not necessarily a pear freak, but they looked like little baby green birds looking for a mother to take them in and love them. I once ate baked honey-vanilla pears with ice cream that were ah-mazing, so I figured the sweetness and sugariness that would come from baking the pears would combat the pungency of the cheese’s saltiness. Lots of ness-es in that sentence.
So, the recipe. The zucchini pasta is first sauteed very lightly in olive oil and garlic and then, at the very end, filled with gorgonzola cheese that heats up quickly and melts into the noodles, creating a creamy-cheesy sauce. Then, we quickly mix in the cute baked anjou pears and toasted walnuts for a savory, crunchy, and warm nuttiness that hugs the cheesiness of the pasta. You’ll want to eat this on a chilly fall day in your onesie, it’s so comforting.
Nuts, fruit, and cheese? Cheese plate!
While I can be around gorgonzola and other blue cheeses after having this pleasant recipe testing experience, I’ll still never give up my manchego. Mmm…. can it be the weekend yet?
Instructions with Pictures
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare your pears by slicing them into eight pieces, making sure to remove all seeds. Lay the slices down on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing the pears halfway through. Five minutes before the pears are done baking, throw the walnuts into the tray. When done, set aside.
Once you add the walnuts to the baking tray, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once the oil heats, add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in the zucchini noodles, season with pepper and cook for about 1 minute or until they are heated through and start to soften.
Add in the gorgonzola cheese and cook for 1 minute, tossing to combine thoroughly. The cheese should fully melt into the noodles.
When the cheese is melted, place the noodles into a bowl. Top with pears, walnuts and extra gorgonzola. Enjoy!