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Risotto with Gorgonzola and Fresh Pear Sauce

  • 40 minutes
  • Medium
  • First Courses
A sweet interpretation of a classic risotto dish, which pairs the sharp flavor of blue cheese with the sweetness of a pear sauce.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • ¾ lb Carnaroli rice
  • 1 ¾ oz onion
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ½ oz Gorgonzola cheese
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • 2 sprigs marjoram
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 pears

Preparation:

To make the sauce

Peel the pears and cut into small pieces. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Wash the marjoram and pull off the leaves.

Place an frying plan over medium heat. Add the oil and, once hot, add the pear. Saute for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and marjoram. Cover with the broth and cook until the pears are soft.

Remove the pan from the heat. Let the pears cool, then puree the pan contents using a blender. Adjust the salt and pepper and keep the sauce warm until serving.

To make the risotto

Peel and chop the onion.

Place a pot over medium heat. Add the oil and, once hot, add the onion.
Cook slowly so that it doesn’t brown. Add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes or until it becomes transparent. Add a pinch of salt.

Add a couple ladlefuls of broth to the rice. Once most of the liquid has evaporated, add more broth.

The rice should take about 16 to 18 minutes to cook, depending on its quality. When al dente, remove the pot from the heat and add half the Gorgonzola and butter, cut into pieces. Stir and cover. Let rest for two minutes.

Then add the remaining Gorgonzola and Parmigiano Reggiano. Stir until creamy. Pour the pear sauce into the bottom of the individual bowls and spoon the risotto on tip.

Garnish with a sprig of marjoram and a grating or fresh black pepper.

 

Chef's Tips

Gorgonzola is a blue cow’s milk cheese originally from the small town of Gorgonzola, located less than 15 miles northeast of Milan.
In this recipe, the spicy, piquant flavor of the gorgonzola is balanced by the sweetness of the fresh pear sauce.

Food History

Gorgonzola is one of the most famous Italian cheeses in the world. It is known for its blue veins and unique flavor, which is both sharp and sweet. This cheese gets its name from the small town of Gongonzola, located near Milan. The cheese has been produced for centuries and although we don’t know the exact date it was first produced, we know that it comes from around the high Middle Ages. A centuries-old legend has it that a young boy working as an apprentice in a dairy was given the important job to oversee the production of the cheese. Even though this job required serious attention, the youngster worked attentively until one evening, distracted by a surprise visit by his girlfriend, he forgot to finish making the cheese. When he returned to work the next morning, the boy immediately realized his mistake and found the milk curds covered with mold. Aware of the trouble that he would be in if his master discovered his mistake, the apprentice decided to mix the ruined curds with fresh milk in an attempt to dissolve the mold. The blue-green veins did not go away, however the boy quickly realized that he had invented a creamy cheese that tasted good: without intending to, he created Gorgonzola.

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