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Gorgonzola Tomato Pasta

It seems like the conversations about what we eat and the connections between nutrition and disease are getting a little bit louder, a little more frequent, and quite a bit more serious. The mainstream point of view has slowly shifted from a school of thought where we as a society questioned how nutrition was related to disease to the paradigm of prevention. We know that we can’t control everything, but we now accept that we can take certain actions to lower our risk for certain preventable diseases. I still remain convinced, wholeheartedly, that people will not take disease seriously until they have been personally affected by it. Herein lies the answer. Disease and who it affects isn’t about gender, race, religion, or age group; it’s about the choices we make concerning what we do to and put into our body. The reality is that there isn’t one magic food that will reduce your risk of disease, it’s a combination of many nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytochemical and antioxidants all working together that will provide the most protection. Striving for balance in terms of less stress, more sleep, and happier relationships can also positively affect overall health and wellness.

As the holidays approach, my advice is to make a conscious effort to destress. Don’t worry so much about perfection and instead take a few days off to rest and rejuvenate. Get back to your sense of balance instead of feeling overwhelmed. Stop yourself in your tracks and choose not to overbook yourself and your family, but instead to take in all the scents, sights and sounds that make your family traditions special. This recipe is one my mom used to make on a crisp autumn day. As you watch football under a blanket in the cool air, take time to enjoy the simple things like the scent of the fireplaces burning and the autumn leaves blowing in the wind; let the smell of gorgonzola permeate your house and I promise this delicious vegetarian pasta recipe will warm your soul.

1 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup light cream (or half and half)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. flour or arrow root
6 oz crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups grape tomatoes
4-5 fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb fettuccini (cook according to package directions)

Preparation
Toast walnuts in your pan first for about 3 minutes on medium heat (or just until you smell them and the oils begin to release). Set aside in a separate dish. Add butter, cream and water and bring to a simmer. Add flour or arrow root (if using) to thicken, then add gorgonzola stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and simmer until they just begin to wilt, then turn down the heat and add walnuts, salt, pepper and basil. Toss with cooked pasta and serve with crusty bread and salad.

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