as the sweaters come out (YAY) & the temperature drops (double YAY) i am ready to introduce all the comforting cold weather foods back into my diet. while i am someone who makes risotto during the summer months too, i know not everyone wants to stand over a steamy hot stove for an hour in the dog days of summer! this risotto recipe is inspired by all things fall & features the sweet taste of fresh tree ripened pears from the orchard.
off topic: is anyone as excited as me to go apple picking this month?!? okay, back to the risotto.
to start this risotto off, i opted for cambria wine's: benchbreak chardonnay. i can't stress how important it is to cook with good quality wines & this chardonnay adds the perfect flavour base to any flavour of risotto! it features a lively fruit & oak spice aroma that pairs perfectly with the pears. i used pancetta to add a touch of heartiness & saltiness, but prosciutto or guanciale would be an excellent subsittue as well. cured italian meats make every dish better. lastly, i highly reccomend using a low sodium chicken stock. this allows you to control the amount of salt that gets added to the rissoto as the rice soaks up the stock because there is no saving a salty risotto!
- 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 pears, peeled & diced
- 1/2 cup pancetta, diced
- 1 teaspoon sage
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 3/4 cup cambria wines: benchbreak chardonnay
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- heat chicken stock in a large pot over low heat.
- in a separate skillet over medium-low heat add the butter, oil, onion, pears, pancetta & sage. season with salt & pepper.
- cook until the onions are translucent & the pears have softened.
- add the rice & cook until the rice begins to turn translucent. about a minute.
- turn skillet down to low heat & add the wine. once the rice has absorbed the liquid, add a ladle full of chicken stock. once the stock is absorbed add another ladle full stirring in between each addition. continue this step until the rice is fully cooked throughout (about 6 cups of stock). taste it to confirm the rice is cooked throughout.
- stir in the parmesan cheese & a touch of cracked black pepper. serve immediately.