Tomato gorgonzola sauce is so simple to make and yet…it delivers layers of flavor and packs a tangy punch.
Cook the tortellini first, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Toss the butter into the pasta and keep it warm. Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion, pepper flakes and black pepper until the onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Don’t let the onions overcook. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for just a minute more.
Buy whole plum tomatoes and break them up with your hands. After I did this, I thought my tomato chunks were still too big so I cut them in the pan with a scissors. You can also process the entire contents of the can in a food processor. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and then add the vinegar to brighten things up. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
After the tomatoes simmer, add the cream, the cheese and the basil to complete your tomato gorgonzola sauce. Simmer for one minute and season to taste. If your tomatoes seem too tart, stir in a little sugar. Add the tortellini to the sauce and gently stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Gorgonzola: the Great Italian Blu
A word about the cheese: the town of Gorgonzola, northeast of Milan, is part of Lombardy. Gorgonzola’s claim to fame is its namesake cow’s milk cheese, Italy’s most famous blu. When cheese is exposed to molds, blue veins appear throughout the cheese interior. A blue cheese is great…in small doses. And gorgonzola is one of the best. The dolce version is younger and milder, spreadable even. The picante is older and stronger. You want the piccante here so it will crumble.
If you can’t find good, firm Gorgonzola at a store near you, order it online at, among other sites, pastacheese.com. You will love it.
Tomato Gorgonzola Sauce
Yield: Serves 4
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 9-ounce package fresh tortellini
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste, double concentrate if possible
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup table cream
- 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 up chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
- 9-ounce package fresh tortellini
- Cook the tortellini, drain after reserving 1 cup cooking liquid, toss with the butter and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions, pepper flakes and pepper until the onions are soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes
- Add the tomato paste and minced garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Break up the whole tomatoes with your hands or in a food processor and add them, along with their juices and the vinegar, to the pan.
- Stir the mixture, breaking up the fond at the bottom of the pan, bring to a boil.
- Simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 5 minutes then add the cream, the Gorgonzola and the basil. Stir in the sugar if using it.
- Season the sauce lightly with salt, add the cooked tortellini and enough of the cooking water to loosen the sauce. Serve immediately.
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