Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rotini with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola, and Arugula

Believe it or not, this meal originated from an Old Mother Hubbard moment. We were starving and we had an onion, some left-over arugula, a tomato, two zuchinni, some gorgonzola and not much else (I always keep several kinds of pasta in the cupboard). It turned out to be pretty tasty, so I decided to tell you about it. Of course, you can substitute or leave out ingredients as you like or as your circumstances require. I am lucky enough to have a large piece of gorgonzola left over from a meal a while back, so it makes its way into lots of my meals and snacks.
If you've never had caramelized onions, you have to try them. As you cook onions for a long time, they lose their pungence and get very sweet. Arugula is another ingredient that you should try if you haven't. It makes a great substitute for spinach. Raw, it is a little spicy, kind of like a mild radish. Cooked, it's more like spinach with a little more flavor and bite.
This recipe makes enough for about four servings

Start by caramelizing the onions. This takes around 45 minutes and can't really be rushed. Slice one onion and put it into a large frying pan with a couple tbsp. of butter and a pinch of salt and cook them on medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
When the onions have been cooking for about 35 minutes, salt the water and add 3/4 lb. of rotini or somethinglike it (bowties, penne, etc.)
After the pasta has cooked for 5 minutes, add 1 zucchini, cut into half-moon slices and 1 tsp. of sugar (it heigthens the onions natural sweetness) to the onions.
Continue cooking the pasta according to the package directions then drain it and dump it on top of the onions and zukes.
Put a few handfuls of arugula on top of of the pasta along with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola and 1 diced tomato.
Stir it all together, check the salt level and add more if you need it, and serve it up with some black pepper.

13 comments:

emilyanne said...

I love arugula. I'm totally making this!

chloe elizabeth said...

Fantastic new recipe. I'm excited.

Sarah said...

Holy cow, Taylor! This looks amazing! Do you use a fancy camera to take these pictures, because they are always amazing? Also, Taylor cooking week has been much more successful than Martha cooking week!

Taylor said...

Geez-thanks Sarah. My camera's just a pretty standard Sony. It's nice but certainly not one those high-tech, fancy, professional types. It just has a button for close-ups that I usually use for food.

liz said...

I love that you had "nothing" except for gorgonzola and arugula. Most people, just so you know, have nothing but maybe cheerios and ketchup. I guess it pays to be gourmet at home and at the grocery store. This recipe sounds yummy.

danielle said...

mother hubbard moments are my favorite when it comes to making up new recipes. Although I have been doing zero cooking lately. Trav on the other hand has been doing lots-- I must say in large part, thanks to you. He tried the Farfalle and it turned out great.

Mrs. Cropper said...

Liz--I know, even for me those are kind of luxurious items to have sitting around. It was a lucky day for us.
Danielle--Glad to hear it. We hace to get together again sometime, that was way fun. Next time we'll cook.

Mrs. Cropper said...

Oops--This is Taylor

lori said...

Liz made my comment. I love you guys!

AND, those tomatoes are SUCCULENT! Many thanks to you for sharing and to Anne's green thumbed parents for growing!

Sarah said...

Taylor, I feel like I'm stalking you this week! I need a good and not so tricky bread recipe. I'm counting on you for the hook-up! Also, Rachel Ray is having a cooking star contest. I think you'd be a definite winner, unless you're holding out for the food network or Bravo!

kate said...

I'm with Liz, only you have fancy ingredients as left over food items in your fridge...and then only you know what to do with them! You have given me inspiration to cook dinner again! Mark thanks you!

liz said...

I just made this for dinner -- are you impressed? I feel so gourmet. A couple of tips that might help someone else... My grocery store was out of arugula, so I just used spinach -- tastes great. I'll try arugula next time. I didn't realize how much the onion would shrink and wish I would have used a bigger one -- mine was smallish and it practically disappeared. I would use a large one next time. I'm so happy to know the technique for carmellizing onions -- they're easy and delicious. I'll definitely be making this again -- I have to use up all of the gorgonzola I bought :)

themother said...

Can you cook this for us when you come visit?