Jonathan Penne Pasta Salad

12 Days of Survivor Christmas, Side

Survivor three-peat, Jonathan Penner, is another person we knew before his appearances on Cook Islands, Micronesia and Philippines. (They should just cast us as opposed to our many friends).

Annelie and I were working in New York (before the ugliness in LA) and were cast as the stunt doubles for Gracie on the hit show The Nanny, where Jonathan played the role of Danny…you know, the boyfriend who kicked her out in that crushing scene.

We connected on set after Jonathan got caught in the middle of our long simmering feud with Charles Shaughnessy (it started when we were on Days, don’t ask) and we ended up as his dates when he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Nothing has changed between Jonathan and us, as you would expect of a relationship built on sarcasm and snark between three of the world’s greatest minds. We discussed future twists and themes we need Probst to bring to Survivor and a treatment for his next Academy Award nomination (a documentary on the lives and times of Annelie and Ben).

To celebrate the season and Jonathan’s visit we opted for the Jonathan Penne Pasta Salad, a dish we invented following his crushing loss at the Oscars.


Jonathan Penne Pasta Salad 1


The richness of our bond was highlighted by the creamy blue cheese, complimented by the bitterness of the rocket and his failure to win (on Survivor and at the Oscars) and the sweetness of the caramelised walnuts and knowing that he is one of the fan favourites to play.

Survivor, not with us. We wish. We would enjoy, as you should the salad!


Jonathan Penne Pasta Salad 2


Jonathan Penne Pasta Salad
Serves: 8

Approximately 2 cups Rocket
2 pears, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnuts
50g butter
1tbsp muscovado sugar, heaped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
150g blue cheese, crumbled
500g penne pasta
Olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste

Heat large pot of water over high heat until boiling, once boiling add penne and cook for 10-12 minutes (until al dente). Drain, rinse in cold water and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, melt butter and sugar together in small saucepan after low heat until combined. Add walnuts and cook for 5 minutes, or until coated and caramelised.

Pour the walnuts onto a flat, lined baking tray to cool. When cooled slightly, pour vinegar over them to create the dressing.

Combine cooled penne, rocket and pear and drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Layer on large dish or transfer to large bowl, depending on how you’d like to serve.

Crumble blue cheese and walnuts over the salad and pour over the caramel/vinegar dressing.

Season and dress further, to taste.

2 thoughts on “Jonathan Penne Pasta Salad

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