Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pasta with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Guanciale, and Gorgonzola

So now that you have your Gorgonzola butter made, it's time to actually put it to work. I really like pairing any type of moldy cheese with mushrooms since the flavors seem to interact well without losing any integrity from the original ingredients, and here we will do just that.

Now if you don't have any guanciale on hand it's okay because bacon happens to be a great substitute here too. If you would like to get a hold of someone though head down to Adventure in Food and snag some from their charcuterie section. I use guanciale in essentially every way that I use bacon such as topping burgers, adding it to salads, and when making a traditional spaghetti carbonara.

Pasta with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Guanciale, and Gorgonzola:
4 slices guanciale
1 onion, sliced into 1/8 inch thickness on a mandoline, or by hand
6 to 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms, minced
3 to 5 tablespoons Gorgonzola butter
3/4 pound pasta, preferably De Cecco brand
Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons butter

1. Get a large pot of water boiling over high heat while you prepare the food.
2. Cook the guanciale over medium heat until fried and crispy, then remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Do not wash the pan out.
3. Add the onions to the same pan over medium heat and cook until slightly caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until all the water is evaporated, about 8 to 12 minutes then remove from heat.
5. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Right before the pasta is done return the sauce pan to the stove over a medium-low heat and add the Gorgonzola butter to melt.
6. While the butter melts add the pasta to a large bowl and mix it with the regular butter and Parmesan cheese with salt and pepper to taste. 
7. Plate the pasta on 4 individual plates. Stir the warmed sauce to incorporate the Gorgonzola butter and top the pasta dishes with the mushroom mixture. Finish with more Parmesan, salt, and pepper to taste.

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