Serves 2 generously
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
Generous pinch hot red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 tight-packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 generous tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, drained and crushed
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup creamy Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
3/4 pound pasta such as corkscrew, fusilli or rotelle (I used 1lb thin spaghetti)
Heat oil in 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium high. Add shallots, red pepper flakes and black pepper and sauté about 3 minutes until shallots are softened and starting to turn clear. Adjust heat to prevent browning. Add garlic and basil and sauté over medium heat about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, blend in and sauté 30 seconds.
Add wine and simmer over medium-high until reduced to nothing. Stir in tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, at a lively bubble over medium-high 21/2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until thick and rich tasting. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated up to 2 days.
Bring 4 to 6 quarts well-salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook, partially covered, about 10 minutes or until just tender. There should be a little bite to the noodle. Drain in a colander.
Bring sauce to a simmer while pasta cooks. Stir in 1/2 cup cream and simmer 1 minute. Taste for seasoning. Hold, covered, until pasta is done.
Add drained pasta and remaining 1/2 cup cream to sauce; stir over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Add cheese and stir gently just until combined and cheese is melted. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Sweetnicks’ Notes: First made in July 2005. Great meal for busy weeknight. Multiplies easily.