Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola and Herbs

So the actual title of this post is “Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola and Herbs and Roasted Garlic and Grape Tomato Pasta with Basil and Arugula,” but I thought that was a bit much. I can’t count myself among Rachael Ray’s fans, but I did try a recipe of hers by that title on Saturday night.

I so rarely treat Dr. O to steak (I think this goes back to the fact that we don’t have a grill) and Central Market had a great coupon, so I splurged and bought some top-notch filet mignon. I’m extra pleased that the end result justified the cost of the meat.

Rachael Ray bills this as a “quick” meal, but I have a hard time prepping AND cooking at the same time the first time I try a recipe. I like to have everything I need prepped and waiting to be tossed into the pot or pan at the right moment. Therefore, I started by making my herb-and-cheese topping, rather than trying to cook pasta, roast tomatoes, chop herbs, and prep steaks at the same time.

I only made a half recipe since there were just two of us, so double all the ingredients if you’re cooking for 4. I chopped one scallion (white and green parts), thinly sliced 5 fresh sage leaves, and finely chopped a handful of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley. I combined the scallion and herbs with 4 ounces of Gorgonzola crumbles and set the mixture aside. I also grated 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded 10 fresh basil leaves, and chopped 1 cup of arugula to use later for the pasta.

Next, I boiled 8 ounces of penne rigate according to package instructions, using the minimum cooking time. (It ends up sitting in a hot sauce later in the recipe, so keeping the cooking time to a minimum prevents soggy pasta.) While that cooked, I lined a baking sheet with foil and tossed 1 pint of grape tomatoes, 5 cloves of garlic (cracked but left in skins), and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil together on the sheet. I seasoned the tomatoes and garlic with salt and pepper and roasted them for 20 minutes at 450 F.

In the meantime, the pasta finished cooking. I drained it, reserving 3/4 cup of cooking water for the sauce, and put it in a covered pot to keep it warm. I also prepped my two steaks by rubbing them with a peeled, halved garlic clove, seasoning them with salt and pepper, and rubbing them lightly with olive oil.

When there were about 5 minutes left on the tomatoes, I heated my cast iron skillet over high heat and cooked the steaks for a minute and a half per side to caramelize the meat. I removed the skillet from the heat and topped the steaks with the Gorgonzola-herb mixture.

This is where things got hairy.

At this point, I was supposed to take the tomatoes out of the oven, put the skillet with the steaks in the oven, turn the oven heat off, and let the steaks cook for 4 – 5 minutes in the still-hot oven. Rachael said, “The Gorgonzola will melt down over the meat and the steaks will be tender and pale pink inside.”


She recommended tenderloin steaks that were 1 1/4-inch thick. I had an extra 1/4 inch on mine, maybe. When I used my digital thermometer fork to check the steaks after 6 minutes (not even 4 or 5), my meat was at a whopping 96 F. Not good.

I ended up turning my oven back on (at 450 F) and checking my steaks every 3 minutes. My smaller steak ended up needing an extra 9 minutes to get to medium; Dr. O’s took 12.

To put a positive spin on the delay, this did give me extra time to finish the pasta (though that was quick and easy, actually). I removed the roasted garlic from the skins and mashed it into a paste using a fork. I transferred the garlic paste to a pasta bowl and added the 3/4 cup of reserved pasta water. I whisked the garlic and water together with my fork to make a garlic broth. Next, I added the roasted tomatoes to the bowl and mashed them with a potato masher until a sauce formed. I added the cooked penne, grated cheese, arugula, and basil and tossed until the ingredients were well combined.

When my steaks had finally finished cooking, I served them with the pasta.


Despite my complaints about things not going as planned, this meal was absolutely delicious. The super fresh pasta sauce – not a canned ingredient in sight! – was exceptional. This would be a great recipe for Valentine’s Day, if you’re planning anything special. Just make sure you allow extra cooking time for the meat.

TIPS: I just kind of guessed at what Rachael meant when she said to crack the garlic cloves but leave them in the skins. I just bent each clove “backwards” until I heard a snap. I was amazed at how easily the cooked garlic came out of the skins this way.

Also, it seems like you make a heck of a lot of cheese topping for 2 (or 4) steaks, but you’ll need it. I lost a bit to the skillet when I initially topped the steaks, and then I appreciated having a bit extra to add during my extended cooking time.

Recipe link: Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola and Herbs


4 Responses to “Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola and Herbs”

  1. 1 leslieann February 13, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    I can’t stand Rachel Ray or her loud, constant chatter, but this looks tasty.

  2. 2 jfochek February 13, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I’m with you there, sister!

  3. 3 Deb Farber March 22, 2008 at 1:05 am

    My this does look like a yumo! familiar meal. So you found it, I see, and tried it. I am impressed, and I didn’t even tell you it was a Rachel recipe. I didn’t know you didn’t like Rachel, though. I will remember that, for future reference. See, as I said It is easy to cook a great steak without a grill. I will never go back to the grill. This is the way to go. It is the best, ey!!! Happy cooking…


  1. 1 Flank Steak with Lime Marinade « Sweet and Saucy Trackback on March 6, 2008 at 8:24 am

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