Gorgonzola is an Italian cow’s milk cheese named after a village that was once outside of Milan, Italy. Today most of the world’s Gorgonzola is produced in Novara, Italy. The cheese dates back to the 9th century. However, it wasn’t until the 11th century that it developed the blue/green mold we find on it today. The mold from Gorgonzola is the same type of mold found in penicillin. It normally takes 3-4 months to age.
Gorgonzola can be buttery, crumbles easily and can be very salty. The blue veins have a bite to them. Some Gorgonzola cheeses may be frozen, but, normally, just wrap them tightly in plastic and store them in the refrigerator. When shopping for Gorgonzola, look for paler cheese if you want it to taste sweet and darker varieties if you want more of a bit. Gorgonzola should never look brown in appearance. This is a sign that it has gone bad.
Gorgonzola has many uses in cooking. It may be melted into risotto in the final stage of cooking. It may go well alongside polenta or used as a pizza or salad topping. It can be an accompaniment to crackers, pears, apples, peaches, nuts, raisins, or made into a sauce for chicken or beef. It is often crumbled and turned into fondue as well. It is best served with champagne, full-bodied red wines, and sweet red wines.
Fettuccini with Spinach Artichoke Hearts and Gorgonzola
Cook fettuccini al dente (long enough to still be firm, and not too soft). Drain and return to pot, add olive oil and coat well. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add shallots, cook until lightly browned. Add white wine and bring to a boil, then add artichoke hearts (including brine), thyme, cream and reduce until sauce thickens. Pour sauce over pasta, add spinach, Gorgonzola cheese, and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with crumbled Gorgonzola and basil.
Radiatori with Mushrooms, Tomato and Gorgonzola Cheese
Cook pasta al dente long enough to still be firm, and not too soft). Drain and return to pot, add olive oil and coat well. Cover and set aside. Heat olive oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom and garlic; sauté until garlic begins to brown. Add white wine and simmer for one minute. Add tomatoes, basil and oregano and simmer. Add sauce to pasta in pot. Toss over medium heat until mixture is heated through and sauce coats pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese and serve.
Jason Dick is an Internet Security Specialist and web author whose most recent notable work can be found at http://home.stopsign.com . He has also worked for seven years in the food services industry and is writing a series of articles regarding current food trends, many of which contain recipes for the website: http://recipefor.com