There was this recipe of a savory risotto with pears and pecorino that I wanted to try for a long time and as I had a small piece of the cheese left in the fridge I figured out that it would be a decent way to use it. As I was going to make the dish for breakfast, I warned my husband that the following day he would have pear risotto in the morning. When he heard about it, he got really enthusiastic (as he always does when he finds out that there will be some sort of a rice pudding for breakfast); then he got a bit confused when I told him that it’s gonna be a savory dish (despite the fact that there’s fruit in it), yet he decided to support my kitchen experiment. We reached an agreement that in case the risotto turned out to be a failure, he would have a piece of a cheesecake for breakfast instead.
The next morning, as the two plates with oozy rice reached the table, I was very nervous (I remembered what had happened when I made buckwheat pancakes with pear and blue cheese and was aware that my husband could find the taste of pecorino too weird for his palate as well). As I was enjoying every spoonful of my risotto, I watched my husband (who was slowly cleaning up his plate) and I even started to dream of trying even more unusual flavours next time – like, for example, coffee risotto – when my husband pushed his plate aside and asked for a piece of a cheesecake. Ok, I’ve got it – no coffee risotto next time; only traditional, time-tested combinations: rice, milk, some fruits and, probably, chocolate and nuts. And I for one will definitely go for pear and pecorino again!
1 pear, peeled and cored
1 tbsp lemon juice
500 ml vegetable stock
3 tbsp butter
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp white wine
- Reserve a few slices of pear and chop the rest of it. Apply lemon juice to the slices and sauté the chopped pieces in 1 tbsp butter till soft.
- Bring vegetable stock to a boil. In a pan, heat the remaining butter and sauté the onion till soft. Add rice and continue to cook for a few minutes till the rice is translucent. Pour the wine and let it evaporate almost completely. Start adding the stock, one ladleful at a time (don’t add a new portion of stock till the previous one is almost fully absorbed). After 15 minutes start to taste: it takes 15 – 17 minutes to cook risotto. As soon as the rice is al dente, stir in the sautéed pear and pecorino, mix well, remove from heat and let it stand, covered, for 1 minute.
- To serve, divide the risotto among the two plates and garnish with the reserved slices of pear and shaves of pecorino.