Before moving to the Pacific Northwest I knew very little about Oregon…still don’t. But I knew Rouge beer. Full Sail Ale. And Tillamook cheese. Beer and cheese. That is what I knew. Well, and I knew they had good wines.
I love Tillamook cheddar, it has such a great flavor and is pretty much the only type of cheddar I buy(the exception being a Irish white cheddar). I thought I would throw out a vegetarian meal for the non-meat eaters that are out there using the cheese I love so dearly.
A simple pasta dish with a creamy cheese sauce topped with crunchy hazelnuts for a little texture contrast. If you are a meat eater the sauce is also nice for making what I call heart attack lasagna. You take lasagna noodles and over them with a 1/3 of the sauce(spread out). Sprinkle ½ cup of cooked bacon followed by ½ cup more Tillamook cheddar. Repeat the layers two other times. Bake for 30 minutes(350) until nice and bubbly. Be sure and do some extra exercise that day if you do make the lasagna version. ;) Your heart will thank you for it.
Three Cheese Hazelnut Pasta
1 lb fettuccine pasta
½ cup white wine(I used A to Z Pinot Gris(Oregon)
2 cups heavy cream
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 tsp minced shallot
1 ½ cups chicken stock
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¾ cup Tillamook cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup Fontina cheese, grated
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned or not depending on your preference
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
In a saute pan add butter and let melt. Add shallot to pan and saute for two minutes.
In a medium saucepan combine cream, wine, and chicken stock, add shallots and any leftover butter. Reduce until it has slightly thickened but not to sauce consistency(you still have cheese to add!).
Add cheeses to cream mixture and whisk until you have a smooth sauce.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta.
Place the pasta back into it’s original pan. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to coat.
Fold in half of the hazelnuts.
Pile pasta onto a serving platter and top with remaining hazelnuts.
Makes about 4 meal servings or 8 appetizer servings.