For me, roquefort = indulgence. I bought some recently after making Teresa Blackburn’s Crispy Almond Sea Salt Crackers, for which you can find the recipe on her blog Food on Fifth. The sweet and salty almond biscuits turned out really well and only needed the sharp and distinctive flavour that is roquefort cheese to really set them off. Also known as blue cheese, roquefort is defined by the region in which it is produced and aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, in the south of France. Blue cheeses from other regions are prevented from bearing the origin protected name of roquefort and simply designated ‘blue cheese’ (or, if it hails from one of several Northern Italian production regions, it is known as gorgonzola). At $131.95 per kilo at my local grocer, roquefort is definitely a special occasion cheese and one to be savoured. Not having a whole lot left in my kitchen cupboards tonight, my leftover roquefort cheese more than made up for a lack of ingredients in this simple pasta dish.
Fusilli with Walnut, Sage + Roquefort
400g dried fusilli pasta
120g roquefort cheese
20 fresh sage leaves, or thereabouts
60 ml olive oil
Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet, or until cooked as you desire it. When you drain the pasta, reserve a little of the cooking water so you can add some to the pasta if it needs a little loosening up.
While the pasta cooks, toast the walnuts and sage leaves by placing them in a dry pan over a medium heat for a minute or so. When lightly toasted, you can either use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind the nuts and sage. I like to grind the walnuts into crumb sized pieces rather than to a paste. I use a mortar and pestle because it gives me more control over the consistency of the sauce (and also because I don’t have a food processor!). Add in the olive oil and mix to combine.
Once you have drained the pasta, let it sit to cool for about a minute before returning to the empty pan. Add in the walnut sauce and a little of the reserved cooking water if needed, and stir to combine. Crumble the roquefort over the pasta and gently mix through the pasta.
Season with cracked black pepper.