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Old Grey Mare Bows

Several years ago, our oldest son spent the summer in northern Italy working with Italian dairy nutritionists. He stayed several weeks with each nutritionist, visiting farms, studying how they fed cows, and living with the family. A couple of the men he worked with were single and past the age where they would go home to momma every night for dinner. But they were Italian and so, not the sort to eat inferior food just because a woman wasn’t there to cook. The wonderful result was that Sam came home with a number of recipes we have taken to calling Italian bachelor pastas. Essentially, pasta dishes that use seasonal produce (or not) and pantry staples to create a delicious meal that is ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta. The recipe I am featuring here definately falls into that category. This week I am posting another recipe from Lakewood Vineyard’s Greatest Hits Dinner. This dish, again, showcases the versatility of Old Grey Mare in recipes. While OGM is fantastic on a cheese plate, it melts beautifully and is a perfect substitute for many mild cheeses (mozzarella, asiago, fontina, mild cheddar) in recipes. In this case I used it to replace asiago in the original recipe.

I am not a strict adherent to seasonal eating but there are certain fruits and vegetables I try to buy only when they are in their normal season where I live–Strawberries in June, peas in early summer, autumn apples, winter oranges. I grew up with a big garden from which we froze or canned for off season consumption. When these things were ready we would gorge on the perfectly ripened fruit–one my brother ate 17 peaches in a day. And, oh, they were glorious! My childhood food patterns has almost always caused me to avoid the siren call of *gasp* out-of-season-produce. But sometimes, like on a warm, sunny, late winter day 10 days ago, I was unable to resist the beautifully green and upright bunches of asparagus innocently rowed out in their shallow trays. In my heart I knew it would not be the same–I should wait. But–I bought a pound and did not regret it when I saw this recipe. As often is the case in my house, pantry supplies dictated slight variation from instructions–as a result my recipe is slightly different from Lakewood’s Asiago Bows~Deck the Halls 2011. Also, I halved it so the two of us would not be eating it all week–the recipe below is the full (serves 6 to 8) recipe.

Old Grey Mare Bows

  • 1 lb bowtie pasta
  • 1 1/2 lb asparagus
  • 1/ 1/2 cup cooked hame, diced
  • 1 C Lakewood Vineyard’s Gewerztraminer
  • 1 C heavy Cream
  • 2 C Old Grey Mare, shredded
  • black pepper to taste

Cook pasta as directed. Simmer asparagus in water until tender then drain. Combine the two. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm ham. Add the Gewerztraminer and reduce about 5 minutes. Turn heat to simmer and add heavy cream and Old Grey Mare. Simmer until cheese melts. Add the pasta and asparagus, serve immediately.

As you can see I used a different shape, almost everything else was the same. It was delicious!

Mariann Fessenden