All restaurants in Italy are offering some kind of sweet and savoury form of risotto, the gorgonzola and pear combination being the most in fashion these days, specially now in winter. I have made it a few times at home and not only is it very good but also very elegant, something you would serve on special occasions. The saltiness and “bite” of the gorgonzola are softened with the sweetness of pears and the walnuts give it that extra crunch at the end. I have 2 recommendations: 1) choose fresh walnuts so they aren't rancid; 2) choose a younger, soft sweet Gorgonzola, as it melts much easier in the risotto. I used Sauternes as i think it pairs very well with the taste of the Gorgonzola. If you’re serving this dish as a first course make the portions really small as it is quite filling. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Carnaroli fine rice (not parboiled)
light vegetable broth
shallots very finely chopped
Sauternes white wine
Comice pears, peeled, cut up in quarters
soft sweet Gorgonzola at room temperature
fresh walnuts, keep 6 nice halves and the rest cut up
Peel 2 pears, cut in quarters, remove seeds and cut up in small pieces.
Melt 2 tablespoon of butter, add 1 chopped shallot, cook until translucent. Add the pears and sautée them for 5 minutes. Set aside
For this recipe you need a light stock - put the vegetable broth in a pan and keep it over low heat so it is always hot.
In a pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, add the other shallot and allow to cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the rice and fry until well coated in oil and lightly translucent.
Add the Sauternes wine and allot the alcohol to evaporate completely.
Add enough broth to just cover the rice, lower the heat to medium-low and allow to cook uncovered until it’s almost dry. Add another ladle of broth and stir. Allow to simmer gently until it’s almost dry again. Keep repeating the process, adding less and less stock every time you add it to the risotto.
After 15 minutes, remove from the heat, add some freshly grated black pepper, the Gorgonzola cut up in pieces without the rind and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to melt the cheese and obtain a very creamy consistency. Check the seasoning.
Add the pear, stir very gently so the pear doesn't break, cover and let rest for 2 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, peel the 3rd pear and cut in quarters, and then in slices for decoration (don't do it before because it will turn dark and won't be as nice.
Decorate the plates with sliced pears and fresh walnuts.