Let me rephrase that. I’m very competitive.
When Laura started her Strange But Good link up parties, I so badly wanted to be a part of them (and slaughter the competition, obviously), but my food really isn’t all that strange. I don’t use protein powders, butter doesn’t scare me and cheese is my friend. A very, very good friend, and he could be your friend too. ♫ “Tell your friends, to get with my friends. And we can be friends. We can do this every weekend.” ♫ Sorry a little B.I.G. slipped out. It happens from time to time.
Normal food aside, although not cheese (never the cheese) I made pasta on Sunday, which I’m pretty sure is a contender for Laura’s Strange But Good link up. Per usual, I’ll let you be the judge.
When I set about making this dish, the Strange But Good link up was the last thing on my mind, but as I eagerly devoured every last bite, I realized it needed to make an appearance on Laura’s blog, and obviously my own. This creation was too good to keep to myself and just odd enough to be in the running.
Before I jump right into it, let me give you a little background (as if you had a choice…cackle, cackle).
Not only am I competitive, but I have a serious fruit addiction, and if you didn’t know before, well there’s no excuse now. Fruit and I are pretty damn tight, maybe even more so than cheese (gasp). I eat a ridiculous amount of fruit on a daily basis, and I’m pretty cool with that. Yes, fruit has a lot of natural sugar (blah, blah, blah), but it’s also chock full of vitamins and minerals. You’d be nuts (another favorite) to pass it up.
For about a million reasons, fruit is the bomb diggety, and I could bore you with all of them, but in order to keep my word count in check, I’ll skip it…for now. What I will say is if I can add fruit to a dish and have it still make sense, well then I’m going to try.
With all that being said (whew, what a mouthful), I’ve been toying with the idea of putting fruit in my pasta, which if you really think about it isn’t all that strange. Hell tomatoes are technically a fruit and people drown their spaghetti in them, so why not some other kind of fruit.
Pears, for example. I think pears have great pasta potential, and I just happened to have some pretty ripe red Anjou pears lying around last weekend, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
My mind was churning (or sputtering or whatever it is minds do) and my creative juices were flowing (sounds gross) as I brainstormed the ideal sauce for pear pasta. Tomatoes were obviously out; I can’t have my fruit competing and the two don’t make any sense together. Despite my bouts of crazy and often misunderstood creativity, logic will always prevail. Even if it’s logic only I can understand.
As a sauce, olive oil had some possibilities, but didn’t seem quite right, and the more I thought about what pairs with pears, I came to one simple conclusion. It was actually quite obvious and staring me in the face the whole time.
The perfect pear companion was cheese (but of course) and a twisted version of an alfredo sauce. Lo and behold, I just happened to have some fancy farmers market cheese hanging out in my fridge from last week. Onion and chive cheese to be exact. I figured the salty flavor of the cheese would balance the sweetness of the pears, and let me tell you, I was right.
Pardon me while I take a small bow. I can hear the applause ringing in my ears or maybe it’s the aforementioned bouts of crazy.
I also happened to have some black Tagliatelle in the pantry because I’m sure most people have black pasta hanging around. No, just me. Hmm, well the color comes from squid ink, which is most definitely strange and maybe even blows up my vegetarian status (I have no idea, nor do I really care), but it tasted just like regular old pasta to me.
Plus, there’s no denying black pasta makes for a pretty fabulous presentation; a little bit of an attention getter, and we all know how I feel about attention. Me and Mr. White ♫ “Can’t get enough of your love…”♫ From B.I.G. to Barry, coupled with some pear pasta; my mind works in mysterious ways, and I think Bono might have just joined the party.
Even the Hubby was a huge fan of this pasta. While we were devouring our amazing bowls of what can only be described as a flavor explosion in our mouth (sweet, salty, creamy, cheesy, delicious), he said “This is really, really good. I mean really good. Where’d you get this recipe from?” To which I calmly and coyly responded, “This one was all me.”
It may be strange, and it most certainly was good. In fact, it was better than good so I strongly suggest you get out of here (after leaving me a little comment love; hello attention needy) and go make this. If you like pears, pasta and cheese, be prepared to fall in love. I’m not even kidding.
You tell me. Is this a strange, but good contender? Would you mix fruit with your pasta? What’s your favorite strange, but good combo?
- 6 oz Tagliatelle or Fettuccini, color of choice
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 2 Tbsp. Flour
- 1 cup milk of choice (I used Soy Milk)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Onion and Chive, although any salty cheese would work so long as it melts well; meltiness is the key)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- White pepper, to taste
- 1 Red Anjou Pear, diced
- Toasted Walnuts (optional)
- Bring medium pot of water to boil on stove top and cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter on stove top in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once melted, add 2 Tbsp. of flour and whisk until completely combined. The mixture should be the consistency of paste. If it’s too much like a liquid, add more flour gradually and a teaspoon at a time.
- Gradually whisk in milk of choice until completely incorporated. Continue to whisk until hot (roughly three to five minutes). Do not let boil.
- Once hot, add in cheese, garlic and white pepper to taste. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Add in diced pears.
- Once pasta is done cooking, drain and then combine with pear cheese sauce. Mix well.
- Top with toasted walnuts (optional).
Since I did use my local farmers market cheese, I’m also linking today’s post to Kristy at Gastronomical Sovereignty and Heather at In Her Chucks. More shameless plugs couldn’t hurt, and let’s be real. I’m not above shameless plugs.