pear pancetta risotto


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.

pinot noir chimichurri steak


one of my favourite things about summer is having an abundence of herbs at my finger tips. it is so much better to pick your own fresh herbs then buy the prepackaged ones at the grocery store. however, when the herbs begin to look a little wild it is time to make two things: pesto or chimichurri. instead of keeping things classic and using red wine vinegar i incorported a mix of cambria wine's pinot noir & balsamic vinegar. i much prefer the sophisticated flavour of these two ingredients in comparison to red wine vinegar. while i used it as a dressing on the freshly grilled steak, chimichurri works as an amazing marinade for steaks and chicken! i am marinating chicken thighs in the fridge as i type this. so don't let all those fresh herbs go to waste this summer! whip up some fresh chimichurri & keep a jar at your finger tips in the fridge all summer long.


  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cambria wine's pinot noir
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 sirloin or rib eye steaks


  • in a food processor add the clinatro, oregano, parsley, garlic, shallot and red pepper flakes. pulse 3-4 times.
  • add the olive oil, pinot noir, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. blend until desired consistency is reached. set aside while you prepare the steaks.
  • season steaks with salt and pepper. grill to rare/medium rare & let rest for 5 minutes.
  • thinly slice each steak and generously pour over the chimichurri sauce.
  • enjoy along side a glass of cambria wine's pinot noir!

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