Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Penne in Gorgonzola Sauce

I don't know if I've said this before, but I've given birth to a narcissistic, needy, manipulative ego-maniac. It's a good thing this pint-sized overlord comes in an adorable little package, and that I can't help but instinctively love him, because otherwise he and I would have to take it outside. Most likely he would win - after all, all he has to do is bat his ridiculously long lashes at me and I'm toast - but like I said, he's manipulative that way.

We waged a mini-war last night in our house. God love our neighbors for not running us out of the building with pitchforks. Here's how the drama enfolded.

For the last couple of nights, baby B (aka The Puny Protagonist) has decided that he will no longer be a good boy at night and sleep in his crib. Instead he will only sleep between Mama and Baba, and if we make any attempt to return him to his crib in the middle of the night, he will put on his "how could you do this to me?!" act, and cry constantly till we give in. Of course, it does not bother him in the least that because he is sleeping between us, Mama and Baba hardly get a wink of proper sleep. Because that would imply a smidgen of consideration on his part, which, him being a baby (pffft excuses!), he does not possess.

Anyhooooo, last night we decided that enough was enough, and we're going to implement a thing or two from watching all those episodes of SuperNanny. So after waking up countless number of times during the night to baby B's needy wails, we stuck to our guns, and kept putting him back to sleep in his own crib. Of course, he hated this strategy and let us (and the entire building, I'm sure) know this. But we're the parents dammit, and we finally won one! Around 4:30am, our baby B gave in and went into a deep sleep, while his parents slipped into unconsciousness from sheer exhaustion.

Hence, the scorecard so far is ...

Parents : 1
Baby B: 293

Well, now you know why I'm featuring a pasta dish in this post. After a night like that, only some serious carbs will help alleviate some of the trauma.

Something loaded with fresh basil. *Sniff sniff* - gawd, I love that smell ...

And maybe some creamy dreamy gorgonzola. *Sniff sniff* - urgh, ok, not the best smell, but the flavor is dynamite. And this stinky cheese is the secret ingredient that turns the tomato sauce on this pasta into the best tomato sauce EVER! Imho, of course. I'll explain why in a minute. But first, le recipe.

Penne with Gorgonzola Tomato Sauce (from one of my favorite food photography blogs, Framed - My Life One Picture At A Time)
Serves 5-6

Click here for printable recipe

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 14.5 oz can San Marzano plum tomatoes, drained, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or more if you like, and I like!)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp (I used only half a stick)
6 oz Gorgonzola cheese
1 lb penne pasta
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, then saute for about 4-5 mins. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and basil. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring, for about 10 mins.

2. Mash the softened butter and Gorgonzola together with a fork, until blended.

3. Cook pasta per the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

4. Whisk Gorgonzola mixture into the tomato sauce, and stir till it all melts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then pour the pasta directly into the skillet and combine with the sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve (yourself).
Verdict: There are so many reasons why I'm crazy about this recipe. First of all, it's quick and easy, which is very important when you have a baby who only takes short power naps during the day. Secondly, it has blue cheese in it - something I love, and was deprived of during my pregnancy. And finally, because it tastes like my favorite pasta dish that I used to have when I lived in NY. This little Italian place across the street used to serve it, and it was literally the only thing I would always order (for 4 years) from them. It just hit all the right notes for me, and became the best pasta sauce in my eyes - it spelled comfort and home for me somehow. I've never been able to duplicate that sauce, until the moment I tasted this recipe. Now I know I'll always have that little piece of authentic NY Italian with me wherever I go!

My fellow Canadian, The Sweet Kitchen, is hosting another wonderful round-up for Presto Pasta Nights - so I'll be sending this recipe to her right away!


Varsha Vipins said...

Hugs to baby B and all the best to you gusy for raising your score in coming nights..:D
That sounds like likey-to-be-my-fav too pasta sauce..love pasta dredged in cheese and made with cream cheese once minus tomatoes..am defntly gona try this..:)

Unknown said...

Muneeba, firstly about the recipe, I love it, bookmarked and definitely making it soon.

Now with baby B, I can sooooooo relate to you. I have an 8 month old and he will not sleep anywhere but on our bed and I think I get too lazy so (to get up and feed in the middle of the night, yep he still doesn't sleep through the night, I let him. sniff, sniff.

Joanne said...

Doesn't B realize that mom and dad need SLEEP if he wants them to play with him the next day? Sometimes I think babies just don't see the big picture :P

The good thing though is that eventually they DO cry themselves tired.

And if anything was going to perk you up the next day, it was this pasta dish. It's even perked ME up. And I have a long night of studying ahead of me.

Anonymous said...

The gorgonzola sauce sounds terrific with pasta!

Sweet Kitchen said...

A colleague is going through the exact same thing with her little one and I will definitely share this with her! Thanks for sharing with PPN this week.

Ruth Daniels said...

Actually I'm surprised it's ONLY 293 to 1 ;-D This too shall pass, I promise. (says the grandmother of 2 little ones and I keep telling that to my daughter).

One of the best things about pasta is you can whip up a glorious meal, like yours, when you're sleep deprived. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Foodiewife said...

Ah, yes...how well I remember trying to outlast my infant son's cries for me to come and rescue him from his lonely crib. Good for you that you did it! Pasta is my 9-1-1 I'm too tired to cook way to go. It's simple and I love the recipe. Hopefully, you'll catch up on sleep.
PS: I'll email you later. My vacation begins on Saturday!

Varsha Vipins said...

Girlie..I tried..!!! loved it ok..n my husband also loved it as much..hav done some click click..wil put as post sometime soon..thnks hon.!

Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

I saw your recipe on Presto Pasta Nights and had to come over and check out the recipe. This looks extremely tasty.

The Food Hunter said...

MMM...gorgonzola sauce...that sounds great.

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Gorgonzola is allways a hit in our family in anything & certainly in this glorious pasta dish!!

MMMMMMMMM,...dear Muneeba!

Malar Gandhi said...

Oh man, my brother keeps telling me...how his baby Girl made him insomnia patient...I hardly understood, now after reading your scores, makes sense.

Pasta looks delicious.