I try not to eat meat every day, so when I do have it, I want it to be glorious. This decadent treatment definitely fits the bill.
Did you know the recommended serving size for meat is only a few ounces? Think about seeing a steak that size of a few matchboxes on your plate – that’s just disappointing. I love this recipe because it supplements a smaller amount of high-quality steak with fresh baby spinach, a creamy sauce made with lots of meltingly soft onions, mustard, garlic, and blue cheese, and springy, nutty-tasting, al dente Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta. Suddenly, one good steak can satisfy three or four people.
Whole grain pasta does a great job holding its own in the face of all these big, bold flavors. I love the fluffy springiness of the farfalle bow tie shape in whole wheat, but for a gluten-free option that’s still robust and delicious, substitute Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Brown Rice Penne.
The sauce is the hardest part of the process, but it’s really only four steps. (I used to be intimidated by making sauces, but I’m getting over it now.) Cook the onions (sliced pole-to-pole, not in rings, so they’ll stay intact) in butter or olive oil until softened and browned, and slightly crispy on the edges. Add the garlic and mustard and stir together. Add cream, and cook until the sauce thickens and takes on a golden color from the browned onions. Finally, add blue cheese and stir until it melts. Done!
I love to panfry steak, but it’s mostly because I don’t own a grill – you should feel free to grill yours if you prefer. I season mine with a little sea salt and fresh-ground pepper, then sizzle it for a few minutes on each side until it’s medium rare.
When everything is ready – creamy blue cheese sauce, steak cooked and sliced, and pasta drained and ready – then assemble each plate. Lay down a bed of baby spinach, spoon some springy bow ties and sauce over the greens, arrange a few steak strips on top, and then dig in as quickly as humanly possible.
My second helping was much messier. (And prettier, I think.)
And if by some miracle you have any leftovers of this feast, you can pack up the ingredients and reheat (with the spinach kept separately) to create a very fancy lunch at work!
Steak and Blue Cheese Bowtie Pasta
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups yellow onion, sliced thinly, pole to pole
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced, fresh
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half in half
- 1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
- 8 oz Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Bow Ties (1/2 box)
- 10 - 12 oz steak, such as sirloin or ribeye
- 2 cups spinach, torn into small pieces
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- vegetable oil, for the pan
Rinse steak and pat dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Start a large pot of water boiling for pasta, and add salt if desired. Add pasta when boiling and cook according to directions. Drain (do not rinse) and keep covered until sauce is done.
In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onion and cook 7-10 minutes until browned and edges are dark and crispy. Turn heat down to medium low. Add mustard and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add cream and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring until thick. Add blue cheese and stir until melted.
Heat another large pan over medium high heat for steak. Brush pan evenly with a small amount of vegetable oil. Panfry steak 4 minutes on first side, then 3 minutes on the other for medium rare, or to taste. (Cook second side for 4 minutes for medium, or 5 minutes for medium well.) Remove from heat and let rest for several minutes. Slice very thin.
To serve, mix together cooked pasta and blue cheese sauce, spoon over a bed of baby spinach, and top with steak strips. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Best served hot.
Keeps 2-3 days tightly sealed in fridge. To reheat, microwave bow ties, sauce and steak strips together, or reheat on stove top. Add a teaspoon of water if sauce is too thick. Mix with fresh spinach to serve.
For gluten free option, try with Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Brown Rice Penne. For a lower-fat option, substitute half-and-half or whole milk in place of heavy cream.
Makes 3-4 servings.