Here, Roberto Donna took a traditional Roman dish and adapted it (zapped the peas and proscuitto; incorporated Gorgonzola cheese) to come up with a combination that would pair well with Barbera d'Asti, a wine specialty of Piedmont.
The saffron pasta lends a bright, yellow-orange contrast to the spinach pasta and a mildly bitter flavor. It's also expensive and not widely available. Fortunately, egg fettuccine makes an acceptable substitute.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped sage
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces saffron fettuccine (available at Eastern Market Grocery, Figs and A. Litteri at Capital City Market in the District, the Italian Store in Arlington and Italian Gourmet in Vienna.)
- 8 ounces spinach fettuccine
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and sage. When the butter foams, after about 30 seconds, add the Gorgonzola cheese. Cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine. Add the cream, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, with bubbles just breaking the surface, for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. If using dried pasta, cook according to package directions. If using fresh pasta, cook for about 45 seconds. (If using one of each, add the fresh pasta just before the dried pasta is done.) Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the cheese mixture and salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Adapted from chef-owner Roberto Donna of Galileo.
Tested by Anne McDonough.
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