Recipe: $25,000 Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken

by Cate on April 12, 2010

Creamy, rich pasta with Gorgonzola and Chicken. Completely kid-approved, and worth every calorie.

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken

Ever wonder what a $25,000 recipe looks like?  That’s one right there.  Wonder what it tastes like?  Wonder no more; now you can make it.  I picked up one of those special editions of Taste of Home magazines (you know the ones, the sneaky magazines that look like a regular magazine, but have the oh so special sticker price of ten bucks) a few months back and was smitten as soon as I saw this recipe.  I mean, really, say gorgonzola and I am there.  Gorgonzola, Bleu Cheese, Stilton, Cambozola.  Haven’t met too many cheeses that I don’t like, but the strong blues are right up there at the top.

This recipe comes from George Schroeder from Port Murray, New Jersey.   Although he has been cooking since he was a teenager, this was the first recipe that he has entered into a contest.  Talk about luck! And quite a bit of know-how too, because there is certainly more to winning a contest than just luck. The recipe is good. I made it last night while the kids were outside jumping on the trampoline. Even though I was summoned outside to see handless cartwheels and midair flips, the recipe was a breeze to make. It’s creamy, rich, filling and perfect for either a weeknight dinner or when company is calling. Just three caveats: I would use a little less sage next time. While I like the flavor, if I got a bite with a piece of sage in it, it was a little overpowering. And the serving size. The original recipe serves 8, so I halved it, something I rarely remember to do. I used more pasta than it called for, but I’d be hard-pressed to say that half the recipe would serve four adults for dinner, so if you make it, just keep that in mind.  And lastly, next time I make it, I’d add some peas or asparagus for a little color.  Otherwise, it’s a lot of white.

That being said, it’s totally worth making … delicious and perhaps just as important, kid-approved! Nick loves Penne with Vodka Sauce so much that he is a little wary of any other penne dish, so I held my breath a bit for his first few bites, but didn’t need to. Two helpings and he was a happy kid.

Project 365
April 12, 2010, Photo #76

Garbage Can

So I’m making dinner and Madeline walks pasts me and yells “garbage!” I hear her throw something in. The only problem? She wasn’t near the garbage can. And she knows darn well where it is and uses it properly, often. She was near the washing machine, which was open since I was also doing laundry. I peered inside. Her half-eaten banana.

This morning, I’m getting her ready and trying to get her out the door to school and she runs into the kitchen and lifts open the garbage can. I thought she was throwing something away. No. She was getting her Dora backpack out of the garbage can. Apparently she put it there for safekeeping when she was eating her breakfast this morning. Someone is temporarily confused, and clearly I need to pay more attention to what is ending up in the garbage can.

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken
Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home


  • 1 package penne pasta (16 ounces)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (8 ounces)
  • 6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Fresh parsley, minced

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown chicken in oil on all sides. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.

Add cream and broth; cook until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the Gorgonzola cheese, sage, salt and pepper; cook just until cheese is melted.

Drain pasta; toss with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley.

Serves 8.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen April 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Oh. That garbage thing is too funny. What a little minx you have on your hands. lol


mandy April 12, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Haha, what a funny story about Madeline and the garbage can/washing machine. Too cute. That recipe sounds incredibly delicious. Adding something green is a great idea!


Joanne April 13, 2010 at 6:09 am

I’m a huge fan of the strong blues also. The more pungent the taste, the better. In my opinion. this looks delicious!

Oh Maddie. What to do with her?


Sarah Caron April 13, 2010 at 8:12 am

That Madeline! She’s too funny. Recently, I opened the garbage can to throw something out and found two Easter eggs filled with candy in there … apparently P decided to hide them so her big brother wouldn’t get to them.


Tyanne April 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

Funny, the little girl I babysit was running around the house picking up bits of paper and throwing them in the trash…I was a little worried something important might end up in there, so I went to look and low and behold there was $6 in ones in there. I keep an eye on her and the trash can a little better now.

Recipe looks great. Gonna have to try it.


debie April 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

This sounds so good! I love gorgonzola as well.

However, isn’t there 8 oz. in a cup? Can you clarify the gorg. measurement? Thanks!


thecoffeesnob April 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

Hi Cate. I used to read your blog a long time ago, way before I had even started mine and then lost your blog address when my old computer died. I’m so glad to have found your site again and to see that you now have a new addition to the brood. She sounds so adorable!


Ramona April 13, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Wonder what she’s thinking?

The pasta looks good.


Lauren April 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm

The garbage can story reminded me of a story from our house. When my son Alex (17) was a toddler he had this stuffed gray mouse he carried EVERYWHERE! We affectionately named the mouse Ratty. So Ratty was missing and I retraced my footsteps, even driving back to Home Depot and checking the parking lot thinking it fell out when I was getting him in his car seat. No Ratty. :( So a few days later it’s garbage day and guess what I found in the bottom of the kitchen barrel when I lifted out the bag? Ratty! Alex still has Ratty in a drawer, minus an arm.


Bridgett April 14, 2010 at 12:10 am

Wow, the gorgonzola sauce must have been incredible. We are big fans here!


Abby April 14, 2010 at 11:43 pm

My 21-month-old is OBSESSED with throwing things in the trash. What is it with kids?


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