Confession: I almost didn’t make this week’s chosen recipe for The Food Matters Project. The recipe, Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs, and Bleu Cheese (page 221) is actually the recipe that inspired one of my favorite dishes, my roasted brussels sprouts and cranberries with barley. This recipe also reminds me of my orecchiette with spinach and gorgonzola sauce, which is similar in its simplicity, and my Gala apple, Gorgonzola and pecan salad, a fall favorite.
Given the success of all three of those other recipes, I somehow still doubted that apples and pasta made sense together.
I could not have been more wrong. It’s like all three of those other dishes threw a party for Mark Bittman in my oven and, 15 minutes later, this beautiful, bubbling winter feast popped out. The resulting dish is one that combines the best qualities of all three of the others: it’s a hot, healthy, and complete meal full of fresh produce, with a light, creamy sauce, topped with toasted pecans and a squeeze of lemon. This scrumptious dish has landed permanently on my roster of all-star dinners.