This may look like a weird combination in an unconventional dish but I can assure you that as soon as you taste it, everything will make sense.
The strong sharp flavor of Gorgonzola cheese will balance the sweetness of the pear, making a creamy and delicious risotto.
In Tuscany we have a saying: "Al contadin non far sapere quant'è bono il cacio con le pere". Which translates in "Don't tell the farmer how good it is cheese with pears".
I don't really know why we must not tell the farmer (let me know in a comment if you can think of a reason why) but it is an ancient "paesant dish" to eat fresh Pecorino cheese (sheep milk cheese) with pears. When I was little I used to eat it very often. Cutting the cheese and the pears in small cubes and mixing them together.
I could not use fresh Pecorino cheese in the risotto otherwise it would be too sweet. So, I tried with stronger cheeses that could compensate with the pear's sweetness.
I tried with Taleggio first and then with Gorgonzola and I think that Gorgonzola wins. But you can try also with different cheeses of your choice.
How to choose the right Pear
Not only the cheese makes the difference in this recipe, but also the type of pear. There are several different types of pear and all differ in texture and sweetness.
I found that the best pear variety for this recipe is the Kaiser (also known as Bosc). It has a firm crunchy texture which holds well the cooking and also it's not super sweet.
See below a list of pear varieties which are good for this recipe. They all are crisp, don't turn to mush and are of the right sweetness.
- Bosc (preferred)
When you buy the pears, make sure they're firm and not ripe, which will also help balance the sweetness.
For more information about pears, check out this page.
If you like recipes with Gorgonzola cheese, make sure to check out also the below:
Pear and Gorgonzola Cheese Risotto
- ¾ cup Risotto Rice, Carnaroli
- 1 Pear, Kaiser
- 3 ½ tbsp Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese
- ½ White Onion
- ¼ cup White Wine
- Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Parmigiano cheese
- Peel and cut the pear in small cubes then quickly fry them in a little bit of olive oil just until they start to brown, add a pinch of salt then set aside.
- In the same pan drizzle a little bit more of olive oil and toast the rice at medium heat for a minute, then add the finely chopped onion and cook another 1 minute.
- Pour the white wine and let it evaporate completely, then add a couple of ladles of stock and bring the heat to low; add more stock as soon as the rice absorbs it.
- Stir every once in a while to make sure the rice doesn't stick to the pan and cook until the rice is "al dente", soft but with a bite.
- When the risotto is nearly ready (at this point there should be almost no liquid), add the Gorgonzola cheese and let it melt; then add the pears with the butter and the Parmigiano cheese and turn off the heat.
- Mix well so the risotto will become smooth and creamy then add some freshly ground black pepper on top. Serve immediately.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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