Thursday, June 30, 2005

Penne con Zucchini e Gorgonzola

In the impossibly beautiful hilltown of Trevi, located in Umbria, we enjoyed a quiet day and night strolling the narrow streets, gawking at Roman and medievel architecture, and dining on fabulously fresh foods. Okay, that could describe just about any day in any hilltown in Italy. But this one...we felt such a sense of place and comfort here. Dinner was at Osteria Posta Vecchia, at the top of the town in the piazza, a little place full of ambiance and kindly people. The waiter seemed very pleased by our thoughtful choices of the courses, saying they would compliment each other beautifully. The primo was a dish of penne with tender zucchini and gorgonzola. Fabulous. And -as I discovered when I returned home and recreated the dish - easy, too!

1 shallot, minced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
white wine
lemon zest

thyme, minced


Cook the penne. You'll need about a pound for 4 to 5 people.

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil, then saute the shallot and garlic until tender and fragrant but not colored. Toss in the zucchini and saute about a minute. Splash in some wine (about 1/3 cup). Toss the skillet to distribute. Add a little bit of minced fresh thyme and lemon zest (about 1/2 tsp. each). They impart subtle background flavors. Add about 1/2 cup gorgonzola (Italian gorgonzola dolce if possible). Stir until it starts to melt and toss in the hot, freshly cooked and still-dripping penne. Toss and serve.

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