Outburst included

November 2, 2009

When whole wheat pasta first became readily available, I was all about it. Pasta with less guilt! Who isn't a fan of that?! But then I realized that some of my favorite pasta dishes didn't necessarily jibe with the nutty, hearty flavor of whole wheat pasta. So I went back to cooking with the old-fashioned white flour pasta. But in some cases, whole wheat pasta can be really wonderful.

You know what else was wonderful? GOURMET MAGAZINE. And THEN SOMEONE KILLED IT. And it DIED. FROM ALL THE KILLING. I shake my fist at you, Conde Nast.

I'm not quite over the end of Gourmet. And I got all shouty because this recipe is based on one from the LAST issue of Gourmet EVER, November 2009. But it is really good, and I used fresh walnuts from the farmer's market in it. They are nice and lovely and a little chewy, but in the best way.

Spaghetti with blue cheese and walnuts
Serves 2

1/4 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1 head escarole, chopped into 2-inch pieces
3 oz. blue cheese, cut or crumbled into pieces
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Cook spaghetti in boiling water.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and cook walnuts, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Remove walnuts from pan. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan and cook onion and garlic for about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add escarole, a few tablespoons of boiling water from the cooking pasta, and blue cheese to pan. Stir with tongs until the escarole is wilted and the blue cheese melts. Add vinegar. When the pasta is done cooking, toss it with the escarole mixture. Top individual servings with walnuts.