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The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Penne pasta & Cashel blue cheese with Brian McCann

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Penne pasta, Cashel blue, red wine pears, leeks, rocket, hazelnut

Ingredients
. 400 g Penne pasta ('De Cecco' brand if possible)

Garnish
. 100g Cashel blue cheese
. 25g Cashel blue reserved for garnish
. 300ml double cream
. 50g rocket (chopped roughly)
. 1 leek washed and sliced finely
. 25g roasted hazelnuts crushed
. 25 ml extra virgin olive oil
. Drop of sherry vinegar
. Fresh pepper

For poached pears
. 4 Williams's pears (Peel and cored)
. 600 ml red wine
. 100g sugar
. 1 orange "zest and juice"
. 1 clove
. ½ cinnamon stick

Method
1. Heat the red wine with the other ingredients
2. Place the pears into the liquor and bring to the boil
3. Simmer until the pears are tender
4. Leave for 24 hours if possible
5. Cut the pears into large dice

To serve

1. Sweat the leeks in the olive oil with a pinch of salt
2. Add the cream and bring to the boil
3. Crumble the Cashel blue whisking until smooth
4. Cook the penne pasta in seasoned boiling water until al dente
5. Bind the pasta with the sauce adding a drop of sherry vinegar
6. Add the rocket and pears
7. Taste - season with fresh pepper
8. Divide into four warm bowls
9. Place the remaining Cashel cheese onto the bowls with the hazelnuts


Pear and almond tart

Ingredients
. 350g plain flour
. a pinch of salt
. 175g unsalted cold butter cut into cubes
. 100g icing sugar
. 3 egg yolks

Sweet pastry
1. For the sweet pastry pulse the flour salt and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
2. Add the sugar then the egg yolks and pulse.
3. The mixture will immediately combine and leave the sides of the bowl.
4. Remove wrap in cling film and chill for at least an hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
6. Coarsely grate the pastry into a 30cm loose bottomed fluted flan tin then press it evenly on to the sides and base.
7. Bake blind for 20 minutes until very light brown.
8. Allow to cool

For the filling:
. 350g unsalted butter softened
. 350g caster sugar
. 350g blanched whole almonds
. 3 eggs
. 6 ripe Comice pears peeled and halved

Method
1. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/300F/Gas 3.
2. For the filling cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and light.
3. Put the almonds in a food processor and chop until fine.
4. Add the butter and sugar and blend then beat in the eggs one by one.
5. Place the pears face down
6. Pour over the pears and bake for for 40 minutes

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