Friday, March 22, 2013

Spaghetti with Blue Cheese

by Sheila Connolly

In case you haven't noticed, I love to cook (and eat), and there are occasions when I really enjoy making something complicated or time-consuming, both real luxuries in our busy lives.

But there are also times when inspiration deserts me, and I want something easy and fast.  And I don't want something from the local fast-food place.  Don't get me wrong—I enjoy a pizza now and then, or the occasional stop at Burger King, but I really do like to know what ingredients I'm putting in my mouth, and to limit the number of chemicals I can't pronounce.

Enter this dish.  I won't try to tell you that this is low calorie or low fat, although you could use margarine (is it called non-dairy spread these days?) or change the sour cream for the low-fat variety (but I don't think swapping yogurt in would work).  But it tastes good, if you're a fan of blue cheese.  This is a modified version of a recipe I found in a pasta cookbook that I think I received many years ago as a thank-you for contributing to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The publication date is 1996, which puts it in those halcyon days before we learned of the evils of cholesterol—and it shows. I've referred to the cookbook now and then over the years in the quest for the perfect Mac and Cheese recipe (still haven't found it, but at least there are several alternatives in this book).

Spaghetti with Sour Cream and Blue Cheese

½ cup butter
8-10 green onions, chopped
4 oz. blue cheese (Roquefort or Gorgonzola)
8 oz. sour cream
Salt and pepper
1 lb. spaghetti

Crumble the blue cheese. Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the green onions and cook slowly, stirring, until they are soft. Sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese over the onion mixture and stir over medium heat until the cheese is melted.  Remove from the heat, and stir in the sour cream.

Add the pepper, then taste before adding the salt—how much you need will depend on how salty your cheese is.

Boil the spaghetti in salted water (add a little vegetable oil to the water to keep the pieces from clumping).  Drain well, then stir the noodles into the sauce.  Don't add it all at once—you can decide what spaghetti-to-sauce ratio you prefer. And remember, the pasta will soak up the sauce as it cools.

You can serve this with a simple green salad.

Add garlic when you're sautéing the green onions, if you want a stronger flavor.  You can also try different pastas.


  1. Sheila, this sounds like my kind of quick weeknight dish. I've never found a substitute for butter, but I'm wondering if nonfat Greek yogurt would work instead of the sour cream. After all, most of the flavor probably comes from the cheese, right? Very interesting. I may be forced to try!


  2. I think Krista's suggestion on the Greek yogurt might work. The thing is to not over-heat the mix once the yogurt is added. Otherwise, it will curdle.
    With all the down sides to margarine ingredients, I'd reduce the butter and use some olive oil. Do you really need that much butter just to cook the onions? A little will give the taste and "mouth feel".
    Maybe a dusting of fresh parsley as you serve it?

  3. Sheila, what a fun recipe. Sort of spaghetti alfredo with a bite. Nice and simple. My new protagonist Jenna really likes that simple part. :)

    Daryl / Avery

  4. I've never seen blue cheese and pasta combined--and yet I enjoy both. Hmm... Gorgonzola is a special favorite at Chez Coyle. We'll have to give this a try. With summer coming, I wonder. Do you think this might work as a kind of creamy, cold pasta salad? Elbow mac instead of the spaghetti, crumbled bacon mixed in and avocado slices on top for a kind of cobb macaroni salad? Interesting possibilities...thanks for sharing and enjoy the weekend!

    ~ Cleo

  5. YUM, YUM I want to try this. Plan on mixing olive oil and butter,
    lower fat blue cheese and light sour cream.

  6. I agree--the recipe could use lightening. It's kind of an artifact from an earlier age. And Libby is right--even the original recipe warns against overheating. Toss it all together at the last minute, serve and enjoy!