Sunday Pasta®: Pennone al Gorgonzola
I have a soft spot in my heart for gorgonzola cheese. It makes me chuckle too. All of this because of grandfather Filippo Garrubbo. Born in the USA in 1908, his parents missed Italy and so they returned just a few years later. Shortly thereafter, his father, older brother, and uncle were killed in a quarry explosion when he was sent on an errand to buy cigarettes. Lucky for him in a way, but the event made him into the gentlest of souls. I suppose this is why he felt compelled at age 75 to tell me about what he called his life’s meanest behavior some 50 years earlier. You see, when he eventually returned to America as a teenager, he took a young woman on a date to the movies. He leaned over to kiss her and immediately noticed that her breath was terrible. It was so bad, in fact, that he excused himself to the bathroom and never returned. “She was such a nice girl,” he told me with his thick accent, “but her breath smelled like a gorgonzola cheese.” And now, some 75 years after that fateful date, I cannot think of gorgonzola cheese — or smell bad breath for that matter — without smiling and thinking to myself, “but her breath smelled like a gorgonzola cheese.”
So please do enjoy this fragrant bowl of pasta and cheese. You can then thank me, my nonno, and that poor girl for the chuckle the next time you encounter someone with bad breath.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Add the pasta when boiling.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the butter. Add the gorgonzola and the cream. Cook for a few minutes until well blended.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the cheese mixture. Mix together over medium heat for about a minute. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano and some freshly ground pepper.